Tim McGraw on the moment Faith Hill told him to clean up his act

He may have grown up the son of a Major League Baseball star, but Tim McGraw didn't know it.

The country music superstar, who grew up poor about three hours north of New Orleans, opened up to TODAY's Hoda Kotb on Monday, explaining that while having pitcher Tug McGraw as a dad had an impact on him, it wasn't for reasons that you'd expect.

"I think a lot of people don't realize I didn't grow up with Tug," he said. "I didn't know Tug was my dad. I found my birth certificate when I was 11 years old. And, like I said, we didn't have a whole lot, and I was in my mom's closet, I was digging through something and found my birth certificate. It said McGraw. My name was Smith as a kid because my stepdad's name was Horace Smith."

McGraw said the whole matter "was very confusing" and that he met his father later that year but wouldn't see him again until he was 18. Discovering who his father was, as well as learning that he was a star athlete, made McGraw rethink all the possibilities that lay before him.

"It changed what I thought I could do with my life coming from the circumstances I came from," the singer, 52, said about Tug, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 59. "I felt like when I found that out, you know, he's a professional baseball player who's successful, to me, it made me think that blood is in my veins, so that ability is in there. So I found sort of that grit inside me that he must have had in order to succeed at what he did. And it changed what I thought I could make out of my life."

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Faith Hill & Tim McGraw during Andre Agassi Grand Slam For Children 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 27: Singer Faith Hill and singer Tim McGraw attend the 24th Annual American Music Awards on January 27, 1997 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
321067 04: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, CA, January 26, 1998. (Photo by Russell Einhorn / Liaison Agency)
Tim McGraw And Faith Hill during 33rd Annual Country Music Awards Artists Reception at Country Star Restaurant in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - APRIL 22: Singer Tim McGraw and singer Faith Hill attend the 33rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 22, 1998 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MAY 5: Singer Tim McGraw and singer Faith Hill attends the 34th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on May 5, 1999 at Uniersal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Faith Hill And Tim McGraw (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill arrive for the premiere of the movie 'Almost Famous' at the Chelsea West theater. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw backstage at the 28th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Monday, Jan. 8, 2001. Photo by Kevin Winter/ABC/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 8: Singer Faith Hill and singer Tim McGraw attend the 28th Annual American Music Awards on January 8, 2001 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 7: Singer Tim McGraw and singer Faith Hill attend the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards on January 7, 2001 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 21: Singer Faith Hill and singer Tim McGraw attend the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 21, 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Faith Hill & Tim McGraw at the 37th Academy of Country Music Awards Show. at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California (Photo by Trench Shore/WireImage)
Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, winner of award for Favorite Female Musical Performer (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw during 31st Annual American Music Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw during 2004 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw perform on stage during the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundations 9th Annual 'Grand Slam for Children' concert benefit at the MGM Grand Hotel October 2, 2004 in Las Vegas, Neveda. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw during The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation's 9th Annual 'Grand Slam for Children' Fundraiser - Press Conference at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 6: Singer Faith Hill (L) and husband actor/singer Tim McGraw celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary with a cake at the after party for the premiere of Universal's 'Friday Night Lights' at the Highlands on October 6, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Photo by R. Diamond/WireImage for The Recording Academy (View ONLY))
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill during 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards - Orange Carpet at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Todd Williamson/FilmMagic)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw perform 'Like We Never Loved At All' at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw during Earth to America! - After Party at PURE Night Club - Arrivals at PURE Night Club - Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Bruce Gifford/FilmMagic)
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill during Samsung's Fifth Annual Four Seasons of Hope - Inside at Tavern on the Green in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage for Samsung)
New York, UNITED STATES: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill peform during the 3rd Annual 'Fashion Rocks' concert at Radio City Music Hall 07 September 2006 in New York. The star-studded fashion and music spectacular kicks off Fashion Week, and proceeds from the show will benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation. AFP PHOTO Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw during Tim McGraw Honored With A Recording Star On The Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for Chasen & Company)
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)
SUNRISE, FL - JULY 24: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill perform live at The Bank Atlantic Center on July 24, 2007 in Sunrise FL. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 14: Musicians Tim McGraw and Faith Hill attend the 2008 CMT Music Awards at the Curb Events Center at Belmont University on April 14, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 06: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Performers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill speak onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards' Artist of the Decade held at the MGM Grand on April 6, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ACM2009/Getty Images for ACM)
THE 43rd ANNUAL CMA AWARDS - RED CARPET ARRIVALS - 'The 43rd Annual CMA Awards' will be broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL
Singer Faith Hill (L) and singer/actor Tim McGraw attend the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theater on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 22: (L-R) Musicians Tim McGraw and Faith Hill onstage at Nashville Rising, a benefit concert for flood relief at Bridgestone Arena on June 22, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/Nashville Rising/Getty Images for Nashville Rising)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 09: Recording artist Tim McGraw and wife recording artist Faith Hill arrive at the 45th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 9, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 07: Singers Faith Hill (L) and Tim McGraw appear at a news conference announcing their upcoming 'Soul2Soul' perfomances at The Venetian on August 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 08: Singer Faith Hill (R) and singer/songwriter Tim McGraw perform during the opening weekend of their limited-engagement 'Soul2Soul' show at The Venetian on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The country music couple is scheduled to perform on 10 weekends through April 2013 at Venetian Hotel and Casino Resort on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Musicians Faith Hill and Tim McGraw perform onstage at MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Bruce Springsteen at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 07: Singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw arrive at the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 03: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw attend CMT Artists Of The Year 2013 at Music City Center on December 3, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Tim McGraw performs a duet with wife Faith Hill at LP Field at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Singers Faith Hill (L) and Tim McGraw attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 09: Singers/musicians Faith Hill (L) and Tim McGraw attend Disney's 'Tomorrowland' - Los Angeles Premiere at AMC Downtown Disney 12 Theater on May 9, 2015 in Anaheim, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
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McGraw has certainly made a lot out of his life. He's a popular singer, movie star and author of the new book, "Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life," which chronicles his weight loss journey.

His lifestyle changes can be attributed to his family, including wife Faith Hill, who had to tell him to stop his partying ways.

"When things happen and you succeed beyond your wildest dreams and you're playing all these great shows and, you know, the party's going on," McGraw said. "And then you're married and you have kids and all the sudden your wife looks at you and says, 'You know, you're getting a little overboard and you need to make some decisions.' It makes a big impact on you."

The couple has three daughters and one of them got McGraw to finally confront the fact he needed to shed some weight. McGraw said the family went to see a movie together and a trailer for one of his upcoming films played.

"And my face is the first thing that came on the screen, on a hundred-foot screen," McGraw said. "(I) was pretty swollen at that time. And my daughter looked at me, says, 'Geez, Dad, you need to do something.' And that's sort of a gut shot, right?"

McGraw also spoke about the love he has for his mother and the important lessons she taught the whole family.

"She always provided for us and she always made me feel like we could outdream our needs and that was something she always instilled in us," he said. "Our mom is our hero. She's the one that taught us to persevere."

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Shocking celebrity weight-loss transformations
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Shocking celebrity weight-loss transformations

Mama June in 2013

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Mama June in 2017

The "Honey Boo Boo" star documented her weight loss journey on her very own reality show! She is now down to a size 4 -- and she looks incredible!

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Khloe Kardashian in 2012

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Khloe Kardashian in 2016

Hard work does pay off! The youngest Kardashian sister is obsessed with exercising and documents all her workout sessions on social media.

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Lena Dunham in 2015

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Lena Dunham in 2017

The "Girls" star lost a significant amount of weight after going on a holistic diet to help alleviate symptoms of endometriosis. 

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Wendy Williams in 2012

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Wendy Williams in 2017

The TV personality revealed in 2015 that she lost 50 pounds over the course of three years with a healthy diet that doesn't include refined sugars, meat, dairy or "eating after dark." It looks like she's been committed to the strict diet. She looks better than ever in 2017!

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Ricki Lake in 2010

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Ricki Lake in 2011

The actress lost 20 pounds when she appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2011.

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Jordin Sparks in 2008

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Jordin Sparks in 2017

Hard work pays off! "American Idol" alum began her weight loss journey by walking around her neighborhood and the rest was history! Her favorite workout? Zumba.

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Sara Rue in 2003

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Sara Rue in 2016

The "Rules of Engagement" star is a total fan of Jenny Craig for its simplicity. She looks incredible and totally glowing!

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Jonah Hill in 2014

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Jonah Hill in 2017

Talk about a transformation! Hill has lost weight and gained weight through the years -- depending on the movie he's working on -- but his latest transformation is absolutely jaw-dropping.

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Christina Aguilera in 2012

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Christina Aguilera in 2013

Smoke show! The songstress dropped 20 pounds over the course of one year. Doesn't she look incredible?!

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Miranda Lambert in 2012

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Miranda Lambert in 2013

The country crooner slammed critics who accused her of having weight loss surgery. She revealed that she dropped the pounds the old-fashioned way -- eating right and working out with her trainer!

(Getty)

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