Tim McGraw Might Be a Tough Act to Follow

"Humble and Kind" Has Become More than a Song

You saw it, right? It was probably the most moving and most talked about four minutes of the three-hour broadcast of the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night (April 3).

Tim McGraw didn’t just sing his hit song “Humble and Kind.” He lived it. He brought in about a hundred people from all walks of life to join him onstage, and he had a string section in his backing band that took my breath away.

After hearing his rehearsal a couple days before the show, I knew this song was going to be a tough act to follow. So I asked McGraw, how would he follow it? How do you pick the next single after a song this huge?

“You gotta live in the moment. A great song’s a great song,” McGraw told me. “As an artist, I feel fortunate enough to have had a few of those songs in my career. And I just hope everybody gets out of it what I get out of it.”

He did admit that it is kind of hard to see past “Humble and Kind.”

“This is one of those songs that makes you look in the mirror every day and think about what you’re doing with your life and what you’re doing with the people around you,” he said. “And how you’re projecting good spirit into the world.”

Good point. But still. Eventually, McGraw will have to pick the next single from his Damn Country Music album, and I had a few suggestions: “Here Tonight,” his duet with his oldest daughter Gracie, “Damn Country Music,” the title track about the all-or-nothing neon fever of musicians, or his remake of the 1995 cheatin’ song, “Don’t Make Me Feel at Home.”

“I love all of those. And I really love ‘Don’t Make Me Feel at Home.’ Kim Williams wrote that one,” McGraw said of the prolific country songwriter who died in February. “Bless his soul.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.