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Tim McGraw: Thank God he’s a country boy

Country music singer Tim McGraw performs at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/David Graham)
Country music singer Tim McGraw performs at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/David Graham) AP

Before performing a concert at Sunday’s NASCAR season finale, the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tim McGraw spoke with reporters about his new album, Damn Country Music, a mix of old and new sounds.

“I tried to stay true to the music I grew up with, the songs that inspired me, plus stuff I hear on the radio that I like,” said McGraw, in his signature tight T-shirt and cowboy hat. “At the end of the day, the fans are going to choose whether they like it or not.”

The 48-year-old father of three (with wife of 19 years, Faith Hill) certainly hopes people like his latest effort, but no matter what, he’s proud.

“Good music just works,” McGraw said. “It moves forward — kind of like a race! — but it’s true. It doesn’t matter if it’s traditional or progressive or if it’s middle of the road. If it makes a connection with someone it’s going to do well.”

The veteran artist and sometime actor (The Blind Side, Flicka) also talked about collaborating with singer Chris Janson on the duet, Messin’ with Jesus, on Janson’s newly released album Buy Me A Boat.

“Chris is just a great songwriter,” he said of the relative newcomer who co-wrote McGraw’s 2012 single Truck Yeah. “He has a quality voice too — it’s rare to find that. Good rises to the [top].”

BIG FUN

Verne Troyer was making the rounds at Ice Palace Studios Friday night at the 19th annual Best Buddies Miami gala. The two-foot-eight-inch actor, best known for his role as Mini Me in two Austin Powers movies, was zipping around on his scooter, braking briefly for selfies. Later on in the evening, Troyer dismounted from his motorized bike to hang out with famed DJ Steve Aoki, who put his little friend atop his shoulders. On Sunday, the two party animals met up at Story Miami, according to nightlife mogul David Grutman’s Twitter account.

LOVE STORY

Ed Harris and Amy Madigan are a rare breed in showbiz: They never got divorced.

The actors were honored with lifetime achievement awards at a gala celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Saturday night at The Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood. When Harris got up to the podium for his thank-you speech, he first and foremost gave a shoutout to Madigan, his frequent collaborator on screen and off.

“I just want to say that tonight is our 32-year anniversary, and I’d be nowhere without this lady.” Awww. The lovefest carried on when Harris honored Victor Nuñez , who directed the then quasi unknown in 1983 eco-drama A Flash of Green, filmed in Sarasota County. “One of the classiest guys I know,” said the Oscar nominee (Pollock). Nuñez (Ulee’s Gold, Ruby in Paradise) returned the compliment: “The feeling is mutual. This man is a star.”

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