Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, and Toby Keith released their self-titled debut albums on April 20, 1993.
Many moons ago, the stars aligned as three future superstars released their debut projects on the same day 28 years ago. While the Class of ’89 (Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, and Travis Tritt) gets all the love, the Class of ’93 ain’t chopped liver.
Toby, Tim, and Shania are all on the list of the Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time. And it all started on April 20, 1993.
Tim McGraw’s debut album was the least successful of his aforementioned classmates. In fact, Tim McGraw holds the dubious honor of being Tim’s only album not certified Gold (or Platinum) by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 units. In addition, the album’s four singles failed to make a dent on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. “Welcome to the Club” was the highest-charting single, and it only reached No. 47.
Tim’s debut album was a dud, by commercial standards. But don’t fret. Less than one year later, Tim released his sophomore album, Not a Moment Too Soon. The appropriately titled album launched Tim into superstardom with hits “Indian Outlaw,” “Don’t Take the Girl,” “Down on the Farm,” and more.
Tim’s career started with a trickle: his debut single, “What Room Was the Holiday In.”
Initially, Shania Twain’s self-titled debut album didn’t fare much better than Tim McGraw’s. Shania Twain failed to enter the Top 40 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. In addition, the album’s three singles—”What Made You Say That,” “Dance With the One That Brought You,” and “You Lay a Whole Lot of Love on Me”—never entered the Top 40 on the singles chart.
However, Shania reached a new stratosphere in 1995 when she released her sophomore album, The Woman in Me. The album has been certified Diamond by the RIAA for sales of 10 million units, making it one of the best-selling country albums of all time.
After Shania Twain broke through with The Woman in Me, more fans discovered her debut album. Shania Twain was certified Gold in 1996 (500,000 units) and Platinum in 1999 (1 million units).
Unlike Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, Toby Keith had plenty of success with his 1993 self-titled debut album. Not only did Toby Keith land in the Top 20 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, but also it produced four Top 5 singles, including No. 1 hit, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”
Toby’s self-title debut album was certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1994 for sales of 1 million units. “Should Have Been a Cowboy” was certified Gold in 2012.