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Audrey Faith Perry, later known as Faith Hill (born
September 21, 1967 in Jackson, Mississippi), is an American country singer,
known for her commercial success as well as her much-publicized marriage to
country singer Tim McGraw.
Hill was raised in Star, Mississippi and began
singing at a very early age. After graduating high school, Hill went to college
briefly before dropping out and moving to Nashville in an attempt at starting a
Hill is adopted and met her biological mother in
the early 1990s. She was married to a music executive named Dan Hill from 1988
to 1994. Working as a secretary in a music publishing company, Hill's singing
was noticed as she sang to herself one day. She soon signed to Warner Brothers
Hill's debut album was Take Me As I Am (1993);
sales were strong, buoyed by the chart success of "Wild One". A version of Janis
Joplin's "Piece of My Heart", also went to the top of the country charts. She
was delayed in the recording of her second album by surgery on her vocal cords.
It Matters to Me finally appeared in 1995 and was another success, with the
title track becoming her fourth #1 country single. Hill began seeing country
singer Tim McGraw. When he proposed marriage to her in one of his tour trailers,
he had to go perform right then, so she took a permanent marker and wrote her
answer on the mirror. Hill began touring with McGraw and married him on October
6, 1996. The couple has three children together: Gracie Katherine, Maggie
Elizabeth and Audrey Caroline.
Hill's 1998 album, Faith, moved her closer towards
a mainstream, pop-oriented sound, which lost her many of her long-time fans.
"This Kiss" became a #1 country hit, and went to #7 on the pop charts.
Hill's fame grew rapidly as she signed an
endorsement deal with CoverGirl makeup and released Breathe, an even more
successful pop hit that became one of the biggest albums of 2000. The title
track "Breathe" was the #1 pop airplay song that year and has become Hill's
signature song; especially notable is the power and control she shows in her
lower register during the song. "The Way You Love Me" hit the top ten as well
(#7), and becoming one of the longest running singles in the history of the
Billboard Hot 100 (57 weeks). The album won Hill three Grammy Awards including
Best Country Album.
By the holidays she had contributed "Where Are You
Christmas?" to the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas; this gospel-flavored
song became very popular on the all-Christmas-all-the-time holiday formats that
American radio stations adopted in the 2000s. The following summer she recorded
the Diane Warren penned "There You'll Be" for the Pearl Harbor soundtrack. After
the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hill showed her gospel colorings again
when she performed "There Will Come a Day" on the America: A Tribute to Heroes
In 2002, Hill released Cry. Though the album
debuted at #1 on Billboard magazine's pop and country album charts, its singles
(including the title track, written and originally performed by Angie Aparo)
received much less radio airplay than her previous smashes. In fact, country
radio pretty much ignored the songs, considering them "too pop". The album did
win one Grammy Award.
In the summer of 2004, Hill co-starred with Nicole
Kidman and Matthew Broderick in director Frank Oz's remake of the 1975 thriller
The Stepford Wives.
She references this sojourn in Hollywood as well as
the chilly reception of Cry in the 2005 country release "Mississippi Girl", the
first single from her back-to-roots album Fireflies. It worked, as the song
restored her to the top of the country charts. She performed this song along
with "Breathe" and "Piece of My Heart" at the Live 8 concert in Rome on July 2,
2005, where McGraw also performed.
In 2006, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw want to reprise
their Soul II Soul tour. The co-headlining arena tour will begin April 21 and
will run through Labor Day, with a total of about 70 dates in the works.
Take Me As I Am (1993) #59 US (3X Platinum)
It Matters to Me (1995) #29 US (4X Platinum)
Faith (1998) #7 US (6X Platinum)
Breathe (1999) #1 US (8X Platinum), #19 UK
Cry (2002) #1 US (2X Platinum), #29 UK
Fireflies (2005) #1 US (2X Platinum)
There You'll Be (2001) #6 UK
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February 1, 2006
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