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Tim McGraw

'Live' It Up

TimTim McGraw describes his ninth Curb album, "Live Like You Were Dying," as a "tapestry of life." Indeed, the project is deeply woven with themes that reflect some of life's brightest and darkest threads.

"You can listen to this record, jump into it and kind of flow downstream with it. It kind of wraps you up a little bit," says McGraw, who recorded the album shortly after losing his father, baseball legend Tug McGraw, to cancer.

The album's title track, is in its sixth nonconsecutive week at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally. Penned by Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols, the emotionally charged song speaks of a man diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and how it prompts him to reassess his priorities and approach to life.

McGraw says he didn't choose the songs on the new album because of any particular circumstances in his life but rather because they were the best he could find. "I would have recorded ["Live Like You Were Dying"] instantly, no matter what was going on in my life," he says. "What I try to do is just sing the song and know that life is going to creep in and cover the edges."

Other introspective tracks include "Blank Sheet of Paper," "Drugs or Jesus" and "Kill Myself." But the album also includes such humorous fare as "Do You Want Fries With That." The Casey Beathard/Kerry Kurt Phillips-penned tune is about a fellow working at a fast food restaurant's drive-thru window who encounters his ex-wife's new flame.