Power Couple: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
by mark adams
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have seemingly done it all. They have each sold millions of records, their collaborative concert tours have packed arenas across America, and the country music artists have eight Grammys, 14 CMAs, and 26 ACMs between them. That’s not to mention the idyllic family life they’ve nurtured with their three daughters in Tennessee. Now the unstoppable duo bring their music to the Vegas stage, launching their Soul2Soul limited-engagement residency that kicks off December 7 at Venetian. Vegas sat down with them right before they began rehearsals, as the excitement for their Strip residency debut was building into a frenzy.
Las Vegas is becoming a popular destination for country music. Is the city a good fit for the genre?
FAITH HILL: Absolutely—although every city is really a great city for country music!
TIM MCGRAW: Country music is really bigger than it has ever been, so I’m not surprised that Vegas is becoming one of the hotbeds for our format. People go to Vegas looking to party and have a good time, and that’s a big part of what country music is all about.
What was your first reaction to this show becoming a reality?
TM: It’s crazy. Venetian has been so great to us and helped us put this show together in a way that works for our unique situation. We have three daughters in school, who are playing sports and have a lot of extracurricular activities that we want to be at home for, so it has been a challenge to find cool opportunities for Faith and I to perform together on a consistent basis. I don’t think it really set in until the announcement in August though. Now that we are actually mapping out set lists and production, it definitely feels like a reality, and it’s exciting.
Faith, you always look so amazing. What will we be seeing you wear during the show?
FH: Thank you so much. In Vegas, there will not be many changes as I see it now. The song selection and pace of the show determines how many times I can change the wardrobe; however, there have been a couple of times I’ve seen a dress that I couldn’t resist and have changed my set! But Tim and I don’t get the opportunity to perform together very often, so it’s important to me that my time is spent on stage.
Tim and Faith kick off their Soul2Soul duet residency December 7 at the intimate Venetian Theater.
Will you be picking out the pieces, or will a stylist be assisting you?
FH: The thought of doing anything in public without my wonderful stylist makes me, and probably everyone that works with me, very nervous. If it weren’t for Petra Flannery, I would wait until the last minute and then perform in a turtleneck and black slacks—every show, no matter how hot.
Tim, you put out your 11th studio album this year. Are you working on anything for the near future?
TM: We’re putting a new album out right after the first of the year that I’m really excited about—it’s my first album on a new label. I’ve been in this business 20 years, and I still feel like the best is ahead of me.
You’ve had some successful acting gigs, including playing Sandra Bullock’s husband in the hit The Blind Side. Do you have any roles coming up?
TM: I’m always reading scripts and looking at potential film projects, but right now my schedule just won’t allow it. The challenge is that my music career takes a lot of time and commitment, so it really has to be the right script at the right time.
Will the Vegas show be 50/50 between the two of you? Will it follow your Soul2Soul tour’s concept?
FH: This show will be nothing like Soul2Soul. People have seen that, and they deserve something totally different. We’ll be on stage together for no less than 85 percent of the show.
TM: Yes, we are planning to perform together the entire night! We’ve never done that before. The intimate size of the theater also helps differentiate this show from our other tours. As a live entertainer, what you would do in a theater is much different from what you would do in an arena.
Can you tell us what duet numbers you will be performing? Any covers?
TM: We can’t give away too much just yet. We will definitely play the hits, because we know that’s what the fans want to hear. But we have a few surprises up our sleeve, too, which I think will help make it an unforgettable night.
Will there be any big, Vegas-worthy production elements?
TM: We are talking about using some cool new technologies that neither Faith nor I have used in our shows before. It is Vegas, so I think there’s a certain expectation to do some of those things. I’m excited to get into rehearsals, because we still need to test-drive some of the bells and whistles.
Faith, you took something of a break since 2008 from putting out full albums and touring.
FH: As a mom, my life on the road became something that I simply couldn’t maintain. But I’ve been working really hard in the studio trying to find a sound that I’ve been looking for for some time. I definitely found it, and I’m looking forward to having everyone hear it.
Did you have to prepare yourself to get back out there on stage again, or are you excited for it?
FH: There is nothing like the feeling of being on the stage—it’s exhilarating. It’s the reason that most performers get into the business in the first place. Prepping for a live show is an interesting thing, because while you want to be musically prepared, you don’t want to be so prepared that you lose the spontaneity that can take place on stage.
Will the girls be joining you on any of your trips?
TM: They might come to Vegas a couple of times, but you probably won’t catch them at our show. They don’t think their parents are very cool.
photography courtesy of the venetian; photography by martin philbey/getty images for danda films (performance)
Celebrating 11 fabulous years with cover star Gabrielle Union at Drai's Beach Club Night Club, Las Vegas.