By Chris Talbott, AP
NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Tim McGraw has chosen a new record label run by an old friend.
The country music superstar has signed a multi-album deal with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records, officially ending his acrimonious relationship with his only previous label, Curb Records.
McGraw made the announcement Monday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s the start of the second phase of one of country music’s most successful careers, and McGraw hopes he can regain some of the momentum he lost while fighting to end his “lifetime” contract with Curb Records. Though the two sides remain locked in a legal dispute, a judge last year freed McGraw to begin recording for a new label.
McGraw said in an earlier interview with The Associated Press that he and Borchetta sealed the deal May 9 at the Greyhound bus station in Nashville, marking the anniversary of McGraw’s arrival in Music City with a guitar in one hand and a suitcase in the other.
“So 23 years after I arrived to town, I’m sort of in the kickoff phase of my new career,” McGraw said.
McGraw enters that second phase as one of country music’s leading men. The heartthrob in the black hat, the 45-year-old has reigned on the charts and in album sales for years and remains a force in the genre despite what he considered shenanigans by his longtime record label. He accused Curb of trying to prolong the length of his contract by releasing a string of greatest hits packages that frustrated fans and artist alike.