Rewind: Since 1994, when Not a Moment Too Soon became the first of his nine multiplatinum albums, Tim McGraw has parlayed his popularity into everything from a cologne ("McGraw") to movie roles (he plays Sandra Bullock's husband in the new football drama The Blind Side), while his marriage to Faith Hill has produced two Grammys for Best Country Collaboration—not to mention three daughters.
Fast-Forward: To record his latest album, Southern Voice (Curb), McGraw and his band of 13 years, the Dancehall Doctors, camped in a studio outside Nashville. "It was like a bunkhouse," he says. "That's how I work best—just head into the studio and pull the shades."
Play It Again: At home with the king of Nashville, it's a queens' castle. "My girls listen to their mother's songs more than mine," he admits, "and they have no problem telling you when something sucks." Their dad took a few moments to tell O about music that rules.
Coldplay, Viva la Vida (Capitol): "They're really inspiring, both for their universal sound—their music seems important—and the theater of their live shows: They can play a stadium and yet be understated. We've seen them three times; everyone in my family is a Coldplay fan." Download now: "Lost!"
The Fray, The Fray (Epic): "Like everybody, I love 'You Found Me'—you get caught up in the emotions of the song, and the melody is so strong that you find yourself singing along with it instantly." Download now: "You Found Me"
Holly Williams, Here with Me (Mercury): "She has the ability to make you believe what she says, to make you feel vulnerable. She's intense and moody; she puts you in a time and place where you never would have imagined yourself—and then you're there." Download now: "Alone"