On this day in 2016, Tim McGraw released “Humble and Kind,” a track that would go on to become one of the biggest country hits of the year and one of the most prolific songs in modern country music.
Written solely by Lori McKenna, “Humble and Kind” started out as a message to her five children about all the things she wanted them to know throughout life.
“Honestly, it’s a very simple song, and it’s really just this list of things that I wanted to make sure we told them, in this rhyme form,” McKenna previously explained to The Boot. “I was lucky that the chorus made as much sense as it did. I did write it in that one sitting; it took me a few hours, but it was a lucky day.”
After singing the song into her phone, she sent it to McGraw.
“I said, ‘I wrote this song. Thought maybe you would want to hear it,'” she recalled.
McGraw knew the song was a “masterpiece” from the moment he first listened as he immediately resonated with the lyrics.
“Lori McKenna is one of the finest songwriters to ever write a song and it just says something that as a kid you always heard and always aspired to. Certainly, as a parent, it’s a message you want your kids to hear and it’s also something as you go through life you continue to learn and you continue to get something out of and you can look in the mirror and listen to the song and really get something out of it and strive for,” he previously explained.
The Louisiana native went on to share a message about kindness and the importance of it.
“Kindness is something I think we all sort of innately have,” McGraw continued. “We’re all sort of born with kindness. I think that sometimes it can get away from us, but I think that even people who aren’t so kind probably think they are and believe that they are and there’s kindness in there. Humility is something that you have to work for and work toward and strive to keep and you certainly have to be a good steward of. So I think this song is just something that really speaks to all those things.”
“Humble and Kind” was the second single from McGraw’s 14th studio album, Damn Country Music.
The Platinum-selling song reached the No.1 spot at country radio and went on to win several awards, including Best Country Song at the 59th GRAMMY Awards, Country Song of the Year at the 2016 American Music Awards, Video of the Year at the 2016 CMT Music Awards and Song of the Year at the 2016 CMA Awards.
Lori McKenna also recorded a version of “Humble and Kind” for her album The Bird & The Rifle.
The song later inspired a book.
“Inspired by McGraw’s own life experience as his eldest child embarked on her college career, every parent and graduate can relate to Humble and Kind,” the book’s description on Amazon reads. “With tender clarity, the words reinforce lessons for mindful, compassionate living.”
Humble and Kind the book is available HERE.