What Led To Richard Simmons’ Retreat From Public Life?

Richard Simmons has been a flamboyant fitness guru for over 40 years. He cut off all contact with the world in 2014, leading to police investigations. Read the reasons for his disappearance. But first, what did he use to be like?

Fight With David Letterman

Simmons was a regular on the Late Show with David Letterman. Apparently Letterman was “very standoffish” to the fitness guru. Their relationship got worse after Letterman sprayed Richard with a fire extinguisher, giving Simmons an extreme asthma attack. Simmons refused to be a guest for six years after that.

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Almost Died From Being Overweight

Although he is a fitness inspiration for millions of people, Simmons started his life overeating to the point where he was horribly ashamed of himself and was bullied constantly. He weighed a whopping 268 pounds. To combat this, Richard took unhealthy, drastic measures; he would starve himself, vomit, and take diet pills. After only 2 months, he was 119 pounds. This rapid, unsteady weight loss got him in the hospital. A nurse there changed his life asking, “do you want to live, or do you want to die?”

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Kid In A Candy Shop

Why did Richard get so unfit in the first place? He was, quite literally, a kid in a candy shop: his first job was at Leah’s in New Orleans, a praline shop. With the sugary, creamy snacks all around, Simmons could not help himself. Honestly, who could? Home was also no help to his gut, as his family had three refrigerators that were always full of food. Also, on the way to school, he would sometimes stop at five restaurants on the way to eat at each one!

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Dolphin Shorts

To describe Richard, people would say, “energetic” or “empathetic,” but nothing describes Simmons more accurately than “flamboyant.” His whole personality shines through when you consider his trademark outfit: extremely short dolphin shorts, complete with slits and stripes, and loud, custom-designed tank tops, whose Swarovski crystals glimmer as he hops around doing aerobics. His personality literally shone through his outfits, which it was so alarming when two months after his disappearance, he was posting very uncharacteristic, dark messages on his website’s chatroom.

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Portly Priest

The last thing you’d think Simmons would be interested in is religion. Strangely enough, Richard was training to be a priest at one point, attending seminary for a year and nine months! Although he said the best part of seminary was that the robes dressed and hid his 200-plus-pound frame well, the food was terrible in the religious school. Eventually, Simmons said his “pulpit could be bigger,” and that he could “help God and help the world by doing what [he] really wanted to do.”

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Mother Was A Fan Dancer

Richard has never been shy to be open with his fans emotionally, but also physically. There was one photo shoot where Richard is unclad and laying amongst a medley of vegetables, with lettuce leaves providing the only cover for his body. Perhaps he was open because his mother was a fan dancer, and generally, they are dressed very skimpily, using only fans made of ostrich feathers to cover themselves. Simmons’ father was also a performer, as a club MC. Perhaps this gave Richard his seemingly innate sense of showmanship.

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Built An Incredibly Profitable Empire

Just because Simmons would rather short-shorts and a tank top over the woolen slacks and tie of a businessperson does not mean that he doesn’t know how to make money. Once he lost his childhood weight, he went on to teach others to do so at a chain of gyms, with exercise videos, and other products. Just for an idea of just how much he made, from his first three videos (out of the 60+ he has made) he made $200 million! Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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Barbra Streisand

Richard admires Barbra Streisand so much that he has done a couple of kinda crazy things to show it. First off, he had a $10,000 replica doll of her made, saying, “having a doll of Barbra is probably the closest I’ll come to being alone with her.” Simmons also went to Tiffany’s and bought a $100,000 ring for Streisand, just because he found her to be inspiring. Barbra sent it back, because it was just too much. The kicker? Simmons does not know her personally at all.

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A Typical Slimmons Class

Richard opened a gym in Los Angeles that was known as Slimmons, after his last name. He always charged just $12 a class, and he personally taught there for 40 years until his sudden disappearance in 2014. A class at Slimmons is like nothing you’ve seen before. Not only is there his classic aerobic, dancing exercise, but also a confessional speech by Simmons, where he regularly breaks down into tears. It’s almost a post-modern performance piece. When Richard stopped coming after 40 years, people were rightfully worried.

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Sweatin’ To The Oldies Inclusion

The most famous video series Simmons ever put out was called Sweatin’ To The Oldies. These tapes featured Simmons plus backup dancers giving an overflow of energy to the viewer. The most distinct, amazing thing about Sweatin’ (and all his videos) is that he had men and women of all shapes and sizes exercise with him on camera. Compared to other videos, where all the backup dancers were chiseled and fit, Simmons made his videos inclusive, as not to intimidate those who felt hopeless about weight loss.

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Personal Touches

Richard is a natural empath, meaning he feels the emotions of other strongly. He personally kept in contact with thousands of people who he just met once, to help them on their weight loss journey. Once, in Nebraska, he briefly met a 450 pound woman, and after speaking with her, called her every Sunday (for free), until she lost 200 pounds. Simmons always reached out to the most isolated folks, and gave them the love and support they needed. That’s why his disappearance was utterly jarring for so many.

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Personal Touches II

Richard’s kindness and connection to thousands was endless (until he vanished). When a Slimmons regular sent her daughter off to camp, Richard sent the pre-teen a letter with some cash, like he was a family member. He once met a fan who he wanted to help lose weight, but never got her contact information, so he paid the local paper to put out a message to her on the front page! When a certain older Slimmons regular could not physically get to his gym, he drove her personally.

Mr. Simmons Goes To Washington

Since Richard was so overweight, he knew what it was like to be bullied as a child. As a result, Richard tried very hard to make sure kids got enough exercise. In a strange meeting of pilates and politician, Simmons testified before Congress. Simmons was concerned that then-President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act was taking away too much of kids’ PE time. He begged that Congress vote to help American kids get fit instead of “diabetic … lazy … and depressed,” due to their obesity.

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General Hospital

Simmons has always been a showman. As a young adult living in Italy, he was cast as an extra legendary Italian film director Federico Fellini’s movies Satyricon and I Clowns. Later in his life, Simmons got a role on one of the biggest soap operas, General Hospital. He played himself over a four-year period in a recurring role. Richard also did a voice-over for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie, and has appeared as a guest on Saturday Night Live and Whose Line Is It Anyway?

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Most Accessible Celebrity Of All Time

Before February 2014, Richard Simmons could be seen during class time for just $12 at his workout studio Slimmons. Also, he would regularly greet fans who came by his house as part of a Hollywood celebrity tour. The tour guides could almost guarantee that Richard would come bounding out of the house to say hi to the Los Angeles tourists. In one instance of extreme dedication, Simmons stuck around to take photos with fans after a car ran over his foot and he needed serious medical attention!

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Cruise To Lose

Three-hundred folks at a time would sign up to take a ride on a ship for Simmons’ annual Cruise To Lose event. Like a bizarre version of Noah’s Ark, folks who were not happy with their bodies would come to be saved by Richard. They would exercise on the boat daily, and have abundant healthy food available to eat for the duration of the cruise. Most importantly, this cruise was an event where some obese people could get a hug from Richard, giving them some badly-needed love.

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Full Name

Simmons’ name on his birth certificate is Milton Teagle Simmons. When he was growing up, people would call him Dickie. Eventually, that morphed into Richard. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Richard explained that his birth name was due to a deal made with a rich uncle. If Richard was to be named after his uncle, it was promised that his college education would be paid for. So being named “Milton Teagle” was just a solid investment which paid off.

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Emmy Winner

Oftentimes, Richard is the butt of people’s jokes, as his earnestness, flamboyance, and flashy outfits are uncommon, to say the least. However, the tables were turned when he got his own talk show, The Richard Simmons Show, a variety show which had a successful four-year run. The show featured Richard doing interviews, cooking healthy food, and of course, exercising slash dancing with a group of followers. His jokes and gags during the show were so good, that he won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show.

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Halloween Costume

Like Groucho Marx’s glasses, mustache, and cigar, or Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, Richard Simmons’ dolphin shorts, tank top, and curly afro have become iconic. These items are also pretty easy to find, so dressing up as Richard Simmons for Halloween has been a last-minute costume for many people, as well as popular in the DIY community. Although it would be hard to find a tank top that is actually studded with crystals, wearing a regular tank top and exuding a lot of energy makes the costume work.

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Hospitalizations

Richard has been hiding in his home for years now, not speaking to anyone. Some of the rare times he leaves the house was when 911 was called. These were health issues, but police have come to his house twice regarding potential crimes. In June 2016, Richard was hospitalized for what TMZ calls, “bizarre behavior.” After being observed, he was released, only to be hospitalized again in 2017 for what his publicist said was, “severe indigestion.” But were these vague diagnoses cover-ups?

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Teresa Reveles

To understand why Richard may have disappeared, you need to know about Teresa Reveles, Simmons’ housekeeper. Richard is extremely close to her, saying, “she’s been with me for 30 years. It’s almost like we’re a married couple.” They are so close that Simmons bought her a Mercedes. But a former associate of Richards claims that Teresa has taken over Simmons’ life. The shocking accusation of how the 65-year-old Mexican woman was allegedly keeping Richard under her thumb was unbelievable to most.

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Orientation

Since Richard is extremely flamboyant, and he did allegedly ask that Slimmons male customers go shirtless during workouts, there have been many allegations that Richard is a homosexual. When asked about it, he deflects, trying to steer the topic away from relationships. When addressing the subject, he said that, “[He doesn’t] have a lot to offer to one person. [He has] a lot to offer to a lot of people.” This rings true, but people tend to draw their own conclusions about Richard’s preferences.

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Slimmons Closes Its Doors

In February 2014, something happened at Slimmons that never happened before. Richard did not show up. And again the next week, and the next week, he was absent. The regulars were baffled, until a sign went up explaining that Richard was having knee issues and would be back next month, but he never showed. This was the beginning of Simmons’ disappearance from the public eye, and from contact with any of his thousands of friends. Slimmons closed its doors after over 40 years in 2016, and Richard still did not show!

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Dalmations

One of the first theories that emerged explaining Richard’s disappearance had to do with his dogs. Richard at one point owned an immense amount of dogs: eight dalmatians! The pack of dogs has sadly dwindled to one last dalmatian named Hattie. Two months into Richard’s retreat from society, in April 2014, Hattie sadly had to be put down at the age of 17. A former associate, Mauro Oliveira, alleges that may have contributed to a mental breakdown. Mauro also makes a far-fetched claim about housekeeper Teresa Reveles.

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Kidnapped?

Former associate Mauro Oliveira makes the claim that Richard Simmons has been kept hostage by Teresa Reveles, his 65-year-old housekeeper. Since Richard became reclusive in 2014, a new addition was made to his Los Angeles mansion: a six-foot-high fence, that does not seem to have a buzzer. Are these prison walls? Oliveira says they are. Mauro also says that this in-effect kidnapping is only possible because Teresa is using black magic and witchcraft to control Richard. Simmons denied these claims over the phone.

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Kidnapped? Part II

Since Richard only called (with no video) to deny the claims that he was kidnapped and under a spell, it is thought that he perhaps was only saying so under duress. Mauro claims that Richard answered “yes,” to him when asked if Teresa was controlling him. In a bizarre turn of events, Mauro has e-published a 50-page children’s fairy tale called King Rich & the Evil Witch, whose thinly-veiled plot describes King Rich’s (Richard’s) struggle against Witch Boreza (Teresa). Sounds outlandish, but the police got concerned.

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LAPD Investigates

An anonymous message sent to the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Office alleged that Simmons was a victim of elder abuse, as he was 66 at the time the letter was sent. The police took the allegation seriously and sent the Elder Abuse Unit to Simmons’ home. They found him fully-bearded, and he said he was fine, although he did want to, “spend time with [himself].” Simmons did miss his good friend Joan Rivers’ funeral, which is super uncharacteristic of Richard.

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Enshrouded In Mystery

Richard has clearly gone out of his way to avoid the public. After he was released from the hospital for his mysterious bout of indigestion, he went above and beyond to avoid the paparazzi who had gathered outside his house. After the 15 minute drive, he sat in the driveway of his house, waiting for people to help him block the photographers. Eventually, LAPD officers, his manager, and housekeeper Teresa Reveles helped cover Simmons with a blanket, so all the paparazzi could see was his signature New Balance sneakers.

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Appeals To The Masses

Simmons had his libel lawsuit against the National Enquirer thrown out of court, as the Judge ruled that being labeled as transgender is not inherently offensive on its own. In his own words, the Judge said that “hatred, contempt or ridicule,” is not guaranteed simply by being transgender.” He continued to say that being transgender, “may be held in contempt by a portion of the population, [but] the court will not validate those prejudices by legally recognizing them. Simmons is planning to appeal the ruling.

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Insult To Injury

It was devastating to Richard Simmons as well as members of the transgender community to have their struggles trivialized in the courtroom. Transgender folks are currently being discriminated against in the military, and much controversy exists surrounding the use of gendered bathrooms. Even though Simmons was feeling defeated, he just got another slap in the face. The court has ordered Richard to pay the legal fees and court fees of the National Enquirer, which just adds salt to his wounds.

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Mile-high Madness

Instead of being boring like many other airlines, Air New Zealand decided to make a fun twist on their in-flight safety video. Their safety video starts out as normal, with the cabin crew greeting the guest, but then out of nowhere, Richard Simmons pops out in full exercise gear, teaching passengers the safety procedures as if it’s one of his famous workout videos. “Let’s stretch it out and lose that baggage!” Simmons exclaims, as headband-wearing dancers show where to store baggage. How exciting!

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Flying With The Oldies

The Air New Zealand safety video is not the only time Richard made headlines for being on a plane. On a flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City, the good old, gregarious Simmons was out to play. He was excitedly talking to the other Southwest passengers, taking selfies, and quizzing them on their celebrity crushes. Apparently, there was much talk about Richard Gere. According to one passenger, Simmons “took a basket of snacks from a flight attendant and wandered up and down the aisle, telling people to eat healthier.”

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Hit Podcast

Since the sudden withdrawal of Simmons from society, people have wondered what is going on. Nobody wondered more than Dan Taberski, a Slimmons regular and filmmaker. He produced a podcast called Missing Richard Simmons that looks through the clues as to why Simmons may have secluded himself in his Los Angeles mansion. Although it was number one in popularity for many weeks, the New York Times calls the project “morally suspect,” as it turns a, “loved one’s personal crisis into a fun mystery investigation.”

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Cookbooks And More

Beyond being a fitness guru, personality, and beacon of hope for many of the medically overweight, he can also call himself an author. Richard has published many books, including the autobiographical (and whimsically titled) Still Hungry–After All These Years. Simmons reveals everything about his life, right from the beginning when his mother went into labor with him at a Chinese restaurant. This book about himself compliments his collection of cookbooks, as well as his diet books, like the (also cleverly titled) Never-Say-Diet.

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He Finally Speaks

To address the many tabloid theories about his disappearance and hospital visits, Richard broke his silence to finally address the public. The message was reassuring, but also strange. Simmons took to Facebook to say, “Aren’t you sick of hearing and reading about me?! LOL Well by now you know that I’m not ‘missing’, just a little under the weather.” Simmons says he is fine, but, “a little under the weather,” seems to be a vast understatement, as that does not warrant withdrawing from society.

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Encouraging Newsletters

Richard is active online, helping people out with encouragement, letting them know in his enthusiastic, but no-nonsense fashion what sort of commitment is needed to lose weight. “You have to promise yourself that you will plan your meals, ones you can live with. You have to promise yourself you will get in that kitchen and cook,” he says in his newsletter before recommending a healthy recipe. Perhaps this activity on his site shows Richard is getting ready to re-engage with people.

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TV Star

Richard gets a lot of flack for his flamboyant ways, but at the end of the day, people love his unending energy and want to see him in the spotlight. That is why he has been featured in so many TV programs and commercials. Not only has he been featured as a workout instructor on shows like Extreme Weight Loss, but he has also been seen alongside Wayne Brady on Whose Line Is It Anyway? as a guest performer. This fits for someone who, “consider [himself] a court jester.”

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Transgender Allegations

In 2016, The National Enquirer published this shocking headline on its front page: “RICHARD SIMMONS: HE’S NOW A WOMAN!” The article claimed that after having reassignment surgery Simmons was, “living as a gal named Fiona.” While it’s no secret that Simmons liked to dress in clothing that females generally wear, Simmons denied the claim that he was transitioning. Richard filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Enquirer. Judge Gregory Keosian may throw out the case as saying someone is transgender is not inherently offensive on its own.

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Knee Issues

Although the official reason Richard had not taught classes at Slimmons was that he sustained a recent knee surgery, it does not explain the whole story being his complete withdrawal from society, and radio silence to thousands of friends. According to the LAPD, he did appear to have a limp when they investigated his home for elder abuse. On the other hand, Simmons claimed he exercised daily in his home gym. It’s possible he is simply depressed because his injury is keeping him from exercising at full capacity.

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Doesn’t Owe Us

Richard Simmons truly touched many people. He gave them hope and personalized attention that even the most empathetic of people could not live up to. Since he was such a light in the lives of many, when he retreated, everyone felt a loss. Willam Belli, a friend of Richard’s, says that Simmons does not owe the public anything. “He’s allowed to go away,” Belli says. Richard doesn’t owe anyone anything. Belli says to those who feel a void: “how can you lose what you’ve never owned?”

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After 21 Years Of Marriage, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Have Revealed Shocking News

Country music fans surely know of the genre’s biggest power couple, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. After 21 years together, they recently made a shocking announcement.

Private Announcement

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have been staples not only in country music but in each other’s lives. After a recent anniversary, they took the opportunity to share some information. Their relationship has never been ordinary, but their newest bit of news came unexpectedly…

Private Announcement

Fans Didn’t See It Coming

Before they took over country music, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were just two musicians trying to make it in the business. They first met in 1994 at the New Faces Show in Nashville, Tennessee. At the time of their introduction, Faith was coming off her divorce from Daniel Hill, a music publishing executive. They had married six years earlier. Tim, on the other hand, was dating Kristine Donahue. They only met briefly, but it certainly left an impression on both of them.

Fans Didn’t See It Coming

Teaming Up On Tour

Two years went by since their first meeting, but they would soon spend plenty of time together. Hill and McGraw were the headliners on a joint tour titled ‘Spontaneous Combustion’ in 1996. The stars, however, were still not aligned. McGraw’s relationship with Kristine Donahue seemed strong, but he called off their engagement. Unfortunately, this time, Faith was engaged to Scott Hendricks, a record producer. It seemed like it wouldn’t work out, but something changed on the first night of the tour.

Teaming Up On Tour

Sparks Fly

Predictably, the two charming individuals had undeniable chemistry. Anyone could see how well they interacted as they shared the stage. The time spent together on tour brought them closer, and things became more intense as the tour progressed. How could they deny their attraction to each other? Unfortunately, Faith was engaged which complicated things. She couldn’t contain her wandering eye but had a major decision to make. Faith had to decide to stay true to her man or see where things with Tim could go.

Sparks Fly

UnFaithful

Faith would not have long to make up her mind. After the show one evening, Faith accepted an invitation to come back to Tim’s dressing room. They clearly had some unresolved tension and had grown very close to each other over the tour. While in the dressing room, Tim decided to go for it and made his move. They had their first kiss and could tell that something real was brewing. Faith realized what she wanted to do and called off her engagement.

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Falling In Love

It did not take long for them to develop into a true power couple. Their relationship was getting stronger every day due to touring together, and their feelings for one another continued to develop. Soon enough fans would be in on the big secret, lapping up every second of their public romance. After a few months together, Faith and Tim made their first public appearance together at Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam for Children event in September 1996.

Falling In Love

Unapologetically In Love

Due to the way Faith had left her previous relationship for Tim, many fans treated her quite poorly. She received plenty of negative remarks from her fans putting their two cents into her love life. She openly responded, “If someone is going to judge my character because I was engaged to somebody and then I left him for somebody else, I can’t control that.” She added, “But I wasn’t about to let Tim slip through my hands. And I had more self-worth and self-respect to not.”

Unapologetically In Love

The Unexpected News

Their relationship was moving quickly, and the couple received some great news in late 1996 – Faith was pregnant and expecting a child. Her pregnancy came as a bit of a shock, especially to their fans. However, everyone loved catching a glimpse of the couple at red carpet events with Faith showing off her baby bump. Everyone expected Faith to be a great mom, but one thing was still missing. Tim wanted to make their love official and wanted to get married before they welcomed the child.

The Unexpected News

Popping The Question

McGraw knew he had to make Faith his wife. He told of the moment, “It was raining and stuff, and we’d been on tour for a while together, and I joked around with her about getting married. And so I said… I looked at her, grabbed her by the hand, and dropped forward onstage. She had already done her show. And I said, ‘I’m really serious. I want you to marry me.” When Tim came off stage, Faith had written ‘Yes!’ into the mirror.

Popping The Question

The Wedding

Surprise celebrity weddings are all the hype now, but Faith and Tim were two of the earliest examples. They tricked their friends and family into coming to Tim’s hometown of Rayville, Louisiana for a softball game and a concert. Instead, they surprisingly arrived for Tim and Faith’s wedding ceremony. Faith was three months pregnant at the time and said ‘I Do’ to Tim under an oak tree while wearing a white dress and no shoes. Tim rocked a black coat and blue jeans.

The Wedding

Green Eyed Girlfriend

Even when McGraw was with somebody else, it was clear that his feelings for Hill were deep and serious. He knew that she was going to change his life forever. “For me, there was an intense physical attraction,” he said. “I guess my girlfriend saw it in my eyes. She said, ‘I don’t want you around her.'” But this only sparked bad things for his ex, who knew that something didn’t feel right and that ultimately, she was on her way out.

Green Eyed Girlfriend

Indescribable Feeling

Faith Hill had been open about the fact she was adopted at a young age, but later gave insights as to how she felt when meeting her biological mother. She said “The first time I met (my birth mother), I just stared at her. I’d never seen anyone that looked anything like me. It was the awe of seeing someone you came from. It fills something.” Although Faith was unsure how she would feel at the meeting, this emotion was unexpected for her.

Indescribable Feeling

Thankful For Adoption

Faith explained how she had an amazing relationship with her adopted parents, but couldn’t help but thank her birth mother for giving her that opportunity to live with them. She said “I can’t imagine the choice to do that and how thankful I am that she was able to give me the opportunity that I had because I was placed into an incredible home that I mean basically is responsible for the way I am today and the backbone that I have.”

Thankful For Adoption

Newlyweds

In 1997, Hill and McGraw appeared at the American Music Awards and amazingly, it was one of the first times they appeared in public together. Hill was heavily pregnant at the time and despite her white dress, there was an evident bump. One thing was for sure though, the couple was deeply in love and proud to share the news with the public. Also it was undeniable that they couldn’t wait to share their arrival with friends, family and the rest of the world.

Newlyweds

Indescribable Feeling

It was only after their wedding that the couple made their feelings public. In short, they mutually felt the same way about each other. “I mean I think we had a pretty instant knowledge that we were going to be together forever,” McGraw said. Although there have been so many celebrity couples who haven’t lasted, these seem to break that mold, being renowned for being one of the most special couples out there, making what they had last up until the present day.

Indescribable Feeling

Baby On Board

The nine months had passed, and fans were just so excited to finally be introduced the Hill and McGraw’s bundle of joy. The time had finally come, and in May 1997, they welcomed their first child into the world, a little girl called Gracie Katherine. As a result, Hill took some much needed time off to focus on family life. However, it wouldn’t take long before the couple planned on having their second child. Not only was their family growing, but so was their love.

Baby On Board

What Happens On Tour…

On a professional and a personal level, Hill and McGraw were inseparable. They spent all their time together both at home, in the studio and backstage. They got so comfortable being together all the time that they ended up calling their tour bus the love bus. “A lot goes on in that bus,” Hill cheekily said. But whatever happened on that bus was between Faith, Tim and no one else. Throughout their career, groupies haven’t been an option.

What Happens On Tour…

Protective Parent

Being a caregiver came very naturally to Faith. She treated her family life extremely seriously and was giving her daughter the best upbringing imaginable, despite her fame. She would always express her excitement as being a mother in interviews and she would be incredibly homesick whenever away from her family. “I can’t even say what my greatest fear is because I, I can’t even imagine,” she said. “Being without my family … I can’t even say it because it makes me cry.”

Protective Parent

Making Sweet Music

After four intense years on the road, Hill took a much needed three-year break from the music game, and also had her second child, Mary Elizabeth. However, her comeback ended up being a duet with her beloved husband, Tim. “It’s Your Love” was the name of the duet and was an instant smash. Their individual success simply meant that their work together could be even more successful. Alone they were strong, but together? They were even stronger.

Making Sweet Music

Purpose

McGraw realized that even though he loved his family dearly, his life as a musician changed drastically after becoming a family man. “It gives everything a focus,” he said. “You feel like you got your arms around everything, and you know where your life’s headed. You just find a peace you never had before.” It was a sentiment that every loving dad and husband could relate to. It seemed like, after having children, Faith and Tim had so much more purpose in their lives.

Purpose

Award Winning Couple

Their duet hit “It’s Your Love” was so successful that it stayed at number one for six straight weeks. Eventually, it even garnered awards, winning many at the Academy of Country Music Awards. But for Faith, it’s so much more than just a song, it means so much more. “It [doesn’t] feel like anybody else was really watching,” she said. One amazing pledge that the couple made was never to be away from each other for more than three days.

Award Winning Couple

Working Marriage

Towards the turn of the millennium, Hill eventually returned to her solo career. She released a self-titled album and the record exhibited her raw singing talent, while at the same time creating a pop sound never usually associated with her. McGraw ended up on songs such as “Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me,” “Let Me Let Go,” and “The Secret of Life.” After the album struck a chord with many fans, the couple announced a new tour.

Working Marriage

Expanding The Brood

With two busy careers to manage on top of their two children, many fans expected by 1999 that the couple would stop focusing on growing their family. Faith and Tim bucked all expectation when they shared their plans publicly. Tim told reporters, “Ideally, we’d love five kids.” Naturally, they followed up by asking if he wanted a son, to which he responded, “I always wanted boys, but in a way I want it to stay this way. Just keep having girls. That way I’ll always dress good.”

Expanding The Brood

Together We Tour

Prior to 2000, the two country stars had never headlined a tour together. They changed that with their Soul2Soul tour, and were accompanied by one of their daughters. The two enjoyed touring together, as they got to split the profits and didn’t have to take any time away from one another. Tim and Faith seemed to be happily in love throughout the tour, but that never stopped the rumor mill from constantly trying to suggest that they were days away from an imminent separation.

Together We Tour

Hitting Back At Rumors

The constant fairytales the press would tell regarding instability in their marriage deeply upset the couple. Faith fired back, saying “I’ve had an affair with my makeup artist, a female; an affair with my hairstylist; my marriage is on the rocks; Maggie is not Tim’s child, the naysayers. I don’t need their approval. I have too much going on. If that’s their entertainment, fine.” Celebrity marriages may be difficult to hold together, but this was not the case for Faith and Tim.

Hitting Back At Rumors

Faith’s Strength

Faith and Tim had such a strong relationship that in interview after interview they would talk about how wonderful the other was. Faith opened up in 2000 about just how much Tim had brought to her life. She said, “Tim has given me confidence and strength and my foundation. He makes me feel like I can conquer the world.” Their love resulted in another child, whom Faith gave birth to in 2001, who they named Audrey. They were on top of the world, but it couldn’t last.

Faith’s Strength

Finding Comfort

Tim knew that he was a product of his father, Tug McGraw’s legacy, but he had never grappled with what that truly meant for his life before he knew Faith. Tim eventually opened up about his self doubts, sharing “I knew I had that ­instability and dysfunction in me, from the way I grew up. And when I met Faith, I knew I needed her in my life–to keep me stable, solid and on track.” However, he needed her more than he knew.

Finding Comfort

Standing Up For Faith

Anyone who is in the public eye will be subject to bizarre or over the top criticism, and Faith Hill was not immune. Tim McGraw, however, is her biggest champion, always at the ready to defend her honor. Tim may even get more upset about the insults Faith receives than she is herself. He said, “Critics who attack my wife bug me.” He added, “It makes me want to pay ’em a visit so I could give ’em a good punch in the nose.”

Standing Up For Faith

Patriotic Family

The superstar country singers have never been shy about their love for their country, often displaying their patriotism publicly. They are also ardent supporters of the United States Armed Forces, so when they had the opportunity in 2003, they decided to perform at the Army base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After praising the troops, Tim told the audience of military personnel, “Faith is just cool, she’s really a smart, smart lady that has got everything together and knows her priorities.”

Patriotic Family

Battling Addiction

Tim, had some secrets he had been holding onto for many years. It wasn’t until 2008 that he was ready to open about his inability to perform without having a couple of drinks first. Tim knew it was time to get help. He later said, “Faith saved my life in a lot of ways—from myself more than anything. I can go down a dark road sometimes, when you’re not feeling good about yourself, and she pulls me out. My wife makes me a better man.”

Battling Addiction

Ultimatum

Tim knew that even though Faith’s presence had been steadfast until then, she would not remain by his side forever if he didn’t start making drastic changes to his lifestyle. Faith was at her breaking point, and as much as she loved her husband, she knew he would also benefit from some tough love. She finally told Tim that if he didn’t improve his coping mechanisms, she would be leaving along with all three of their daughters. Tim turned to martial arts to fill the hole alcohol left.

Ultimatum

Talking It Out

Even after many years together, Tim and Faith love each other as much as they did when they first began their romance. Tim has shared one of their secrets to success is their easy communication. He has revealed, “She [Faith] would be perfectly happy if I told her, ‘Let’s get in the car and ride for two hours and talk.’ That would be as big a gift to her as anything.” They both know that expressing themselves to one another is the bedrock of their marriage.

Talking It Out

Back On Top

Fame and fortune usually do not go hand in hand with maintaining a healthy, stable and supportive romantic relationship, but it seems McGraw and Hill accomplished the unachievable. While both are balancing successful careers, they also make the time and effort to spend time with the other, which could contribute to the fact they are happily married to this day. When McGraw appeared in the film The Blind Side, wife Hill also contributed to the Oscar-nominated project by providing the soundtrack, Country Strong.

Back On Top

Family Man

McGraw was referred to as a natural, taking upon himself the role of Sean Tuohy, the father of Collins and S.J. and husband of Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock. He explained that it was somewhat simple fitting himself into the role, saying: “I’m very family-oriented. I’ve always been family-oriented. I came from a disoriented, dysfunctional family growing up. That probably instilled in me the need and want to have a strong family and a great foundation. That’s something I naturally gravitate towards.”

Family Man

Inspiring One Another

Faith Hill was not shy when speaking of her husband, explaining the reason she still looks up to him after all this time. “Tim inspires me every day in many, many ways.” She noted, adding: “I draw inspiration from his assertiveness and from watching him being a father and a husband.” The dynamic duo was not short on critics, however, in spite of projecting a strong front to all. They have stuck together through the good times and the bad, but not everyone saw it that way.

Inspiring One Another

Negative Attention

Two Lanes of Freedom, Tim McGraw’s album, was released in 2013, but seemed to drag the wrong sort of attention with it. Rumors started flying that there might be trouble in paradise, to which Hill responded by saying “[Rumors] seem to be running like crazy right now for some reason. It’s perplexing. I don’t know why ‘happy’ can’t be a story.” Equally frustrated Tim added, “We’ve been married 17 years, and since the first week we were married those things were out, we don’t even think about it.”

Negative Attention

College Calling

When it was time for Tim and Faith’s daughter Maggie to go to college, they had a hard time dealing with the fact their baby girl is all grown up. “It’s beautiful, and it’s sad all at one time,” said Tim. “You know, you can’t wait for them to sort of see what they make of themselves and do with themselves when they get out from under your umbrella, but you’re also nervous and sad because you’re gonna miss ’em.”

College Calling

Supermom

Tim gave Oprah Winfrey an interview, in which he explained that what gets the marriage going is that “we close our door at home; we are husband and wife and a mother and a father.” As for Faith as a mother, he explained: “I think about the fact that we’re married and the fact that we raised these three beautiful daughters. And then I think about having three daughters and having [Hill] for their mom. It’s a pretty cool thing for those girls to have her.”

Supermom

Oh, Brother

In 2013, Faith Hill came forward with her brother Zachary White’s addiction to illegal substances. Although at a dark point in his life, White later elaborated on his situation, saying: “I made my share of mistakes in the past, but Faith showed me that I could be a better person, I turned my life around, and I owe much of that to Faith and Tim. If it weren’t for them, there’s no telling where I’d be now.”

Oh, Brother

Daughter Dreams

As for parenting strategies, Hill and McGraw had to inevitably accept the fact that their daughters would want to follow in their footsteps and break into the music industry. “The one thing we stress is that you don’t get things handed to you on a silver platter — you have to work for the things you want, they know it takes hard work.” Hill added, saying that “As a parent, you don’t want to stand in the way of their dreams.”

Daughter Dreams

A New Duet

Both Hill and McGraw’s large fanbases are used to the fact that the two occasionally merge powers (and voices) to bring harmonious, loving onto the stage. However, come 2015, Tim decided to switch things up a bit and invite his talented 18-year-old daughter Gracie to join him on stage. The two sang “Here Tonight,” and were so tremendously successful, the proud mother hen Hill could not help but join the daddy-daughter duet on stage, which left the crowd roaring.

A New Duet

Enjoying The Moment

The two have performed together on stage for over 20 years, but as Tim explained, some things simply never change. McGraw shyly confessed that his wife still takes his breath away: “It amazes me every night, every chance I get to sing with her.” The country star might put out a certain tough-guy image, but the truth is that, “When you see somebody you love up there, it’s a lot more.” As nerve-wracking as it may be, Tim’s stress is unnoticeable to the crowd.

Enjoying The Moment

Channeling Beyoncé

It is common for artists to draw inspiration from one another and Faith admitted that there is one particular pop star she looks up to when performing. She stated “The truth is, I want to be Beyoncé every single freaking night of my life, so I go out there thinking, ‘I am Beyoncé!'” Although they sing in completely different genres, Beyonce and Faith have more in common than you’d think as they both have high-profile marriages to musicians, and both went on a couples tour.

faith-beyonce
Channeling Beyoncé

Keeping The Family Together

One of the great things about Tim as a husband, is that he notices and gives thanks to his wife for being so good to him and the family. McGraw gushed that “She’s the light of our whole family’s life. She keeps everything going for us. We all strive to be like my wife, everybody in our family. If your wife holds the example for everybody in your family, that’s a good thing.” Tim also gave her a compliment on her appearance, calling her his “hot wife.”

Keeping The Family Together

Writing For His Women

In March 2017, Faith and Tim released a single together titled “Speak to a Girl.” Tim added that it was particularly special for his family as he drew inspiration for it through the women in his life. He said, “It’s special for us, having three daughters—me being a husband and Faith being a mom of three daughters and growing up in a world of all women like I did, I think it’s just a really special song.”

faith-song
Writing For His Women

Meet The Parents

One of the scary moments for a guy in a relationship is meeting the parents. McGraw might have accidentally scared off his daughter’s boyfriend in their first meeting. When Gracie’s boyfriend walked in the middle of a barbeque, he was shocked by the image he saw. Tim says he was “in the kitchen and I forget that he’s coming. I have a white apron on and a knife and I’m trimming meat up, so I’ve got chunks of meat all over this white apron, blood everywhere.”

Meet The Parents

Pushing Each Other’s Buttons

Tim and Faith have a seemingly flawless marriage. However, if you pay close attention to their lyrics, they reveal that they have their issues here and there. “I know that sometimes you hate me/We spend most of our days together with you trying to change me,” their duet goes. This was shocking to many, but Faith revealed that sometimes she, “like[s] a good fight,” and she “know[s] how to press those buttons. And if [she’s] a little angry, [she] can press those buttons big time.”

Pushing Each Other’s Buttons

Fighting With Faith

One thing that is unavoidable in a relationship is arguments.  Whether we want to believe it or not, Tim and Faith also get into arguments. However, it is not as bad as it sounds. Their arguments are the sort of disputes that you envy, because are not digging at each others’ deepest insecurities or sending each other on guilt trips. Rather, McGraw admitted that “the last [argument] we got [into], [he] didn’t load the dishwasher or something.” We bet Tim loaded the dishwasher the next time it came up.

Fighting With Faith

Healthy Hill?

Many people started to get concerned about Faith’s health in 2017. This was due to the fact that she was looking like she was shedding too many pounds. Fans worried that she would become gaunt, and they were also concerned she was ill. Medical professionals believed that she was simply overworked with touring, perhaps dehydrated, and maybe even had a heart issue. However, a source close to Hill simply explained she sometimes skipped meals when busy, and she had increased her workouts.

Healthy Hill?

The Best Memories

Things get stale after being together for over 20 years, but somehow, the spark is still there between McGraw and Hill. Part of how they do so is by performing together, which bonds them together in a unique way. Of the performances, Tim relates that “The memories we have created every time we have gone out have been the best memories of our career.” Plus, very practically, he adds that they have “two kids in college, what else are we gonna do?”

The Best Memories

Making It Last

Some couples struggle with keeping that original spark alive, but somehow Faith and Tim seem to be as in love as ever. When asked how they have stuck together for so long, McGraw gave a tongue-in-cheek answer: “Well, she tolerates a lot, I think that’s probably the main reason.” Faith chuckled, but also admitted that Tim “tolerate[s] a lot too.” and that she is “not the easiest person.” At the core, she said the secret is simple: “we do actually like one another.”

Making It Last

Fame In The Family

Little did Tim McGraw know, but his birth father wasn’t just some backwoods nobody. His mother was only in high school when she met Tug McGraw, who lived in the apartment directly above hers in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, Tug was pitching for the Jacksonville Suns, which was then a triple A international team. When Betty, Tim’s mother became pregnant, however, she was shipped off to hide with relatives in Louisiana. Unburdened by the unplanned pregnancy, Tug McGraw continued on to the major leagues.

Fame In The Family

Caught Unawares

Tim McGraw wasn’t raised with the same last name as his father, however. In fact, he didn’t know until he was 11 that his stepfather, Horace Smith, wasn’t his biological father, as his mother never bothered to tell him, and McGraw donned the last name of ‘Smith’ at the time. When he happened to stumble upon his birth certificate, he knew he had to understand the legacy that would follow him for the rest of his life, including into his marriage with Faith.

Caught Unawares

In Denial

Tim could never forget the first time he met Tug McGraw, the pitcher was already well known, having played for the New York Mets for a number of years, including the 1969 season, in which the Mets won the World Series. Tug, for his part, however, refused to acknowledge that Tim was his son after their introduction. It took until Tim was nearly 18 before Tug recognized just how similar his son’s appearance was to his at the same age.

In Denial

In His Father’s Footsteps

Without knowing about his dad’s legacy, Tim found himself drawn to the world of team sports, eventually earning himself a baseball scholarship to Northeast Louisiana University. Unfortunately for Tim though, he ended up injuring his knee during a game and was forced to give up any dreams he had of going pro. It was his luck then that he’d also picked up guitar while in college, which ended up earning him an equally high profile career.

In His Father’s Footsteps

Cooking From The Heart

In a joint interview with Southern Living magazine, Faith revealed just how Tim attempted to win her heart at the beginning of the relationship. “[Tim] brought me chicken and dumplings.” Faith revealed. “[He] came to my house [unannounced]. He knocked on my door, and he had a bowl of homemade chicken dumplings.” Tim added that he’d also made her cornbread. He knew his immense effort to make these comfort foods from scratch would demonstrate just how much he cared for her.

Cooking From The Heart

Out Of Place

One of the things that Faith and Tim were able to bond over the most deeply was their unanchored upbringing. Faith was raised by adopted parents with an inkling that she was an outsider. She told Southern Living, “I used to think there was some kind of conspiracy, that I must be the daughter of one of my aunts. And of course I used to dream I was Elvis’ daughter….I’m a gypsy at heart. I had a spirit that was completely outside what my family was.”

Out Of Place

Declined By Reba

Faith Hill knew from an early age that she had a powerful voice, as she was a regular performer at area churches by the time she was a teenager. She took the initiative to form her own band, which added rodeos to their list of performance venues. When she was finally ready to bite the bullet and become a country singer, she moved straight to Nashville at the tender age of 19 and auditioned to sing with Reba. It would not be Faith’s lucky break.

Declined By Reba

Shattering Her World

Faith has kept fairly quiet about her first marriage to Daniel Hill, whom she met upon moving to Nashville. When she did finally open up about that marriage, she revealed that it was meeting her birth mother for the first time that shook her so deeply, she had to leave almost everything from her past behind, including Daniel. She said of the marriage,  “I was going through so much. I was like a flower trying to bud. Marriage wasn’t what I needed. It was a disguise

Shattering Her World

Number One

In winter 2017, Faith and Tim did something they surprisingly had never done before. They got together and recorded a collaborative album. This was their first LP that they recorded together, which was titled “The Rest Of Our Life.” The album debuted on the Top Country Albums chart at number one! They expressed their gratitude, saying: “We are especially grateful for our amazing fans and the talented folks who worked on the album with us, we are blessed to get to do this and, even more so, together.”

Number One

Return To Tour

For a long while, Faith and Tim performed solo. However, in 2017, they made an announcement that many were happy to hear: they would be working together again for another Soul2Soul tour! Both McGraw and Hill were ecstatic to reunite and collaborate again. Tim praised Faith using an analogy to racing: “when I’m on stage with her, it’s like NASCAR trying to keep up with an Indy car. She’s just that good. So, to watch her sing and see what she does is pretty inspiring.”

Return To Tour