COMING from a small mining town in West Virginia, Adam D. Tucker wasn't born to dream big.
On the surface, a performer paying tribute to country music superstar Tim McGraw has the swagger of a man born into the industry, but peel back the layers and the reality is far from a future envisioned by an uninspired kid.
"I'm from a coal mining, truck driving family and didn't know anything about entertainment," Tucker told Tweed Daily News as he prepares to tour Australia in February.
"I am probably one of the biggest Tim McGraw fans in the world and in junior high (1992), I said 'wow, I sound just like this guy'.
"I would listen to McGraw over and over. I was a shy kid but I loved to sing, especially when no one was around."
Tucker didn't give singing much thought in his formative years but that all changed in his early twenties following a period of travel and personal tragedy.
"I went to Vegas, Nashville, and I saw people performing and thought 'wow that would be a cool job to have'," Tucker said.
"Everyone told me I was a great singer and pushed me that way but when my best friend died in a car accident around 2001, I started looking at life differently and decided to do something I enjoyed.
"I got into business and haven't looked back."
After trying to forge ahead with his own career, McGraw comparisons kept popping up for Tucker whenever he was close to getting a deal.
"They (record companies) kept telling me to sing differently as I sounded like McGraw, but I couldn't," Tucker said.
Tucker began to pursue a McGraw tribute in 2010, which set the wheels in motion for a successful, Vegas career.
"After about four months of shows in West Virginia and along the east coast, a Vegas producer called and said 'we want to put you in the superstars show' and I said 'yep I'm on my way," he said.
Fast-forward seven years and Tucker is established in Vegas and has played 42 concerts all over the US, opening for acts such as Taylor Swift, Trace Adkins and Jason Aldean.
Australia-bound with Vegas show Cowboys an Angels, Tucker will take to the stage as McGraw, in a show that also pays tribute to Garth Brooks (Dean Simmons) and Shania Twain (Kim Simmons).
Tucker said once he hits the stage, McGraw comes alive.
"He's always been my idol, I've seen close to twenty of his concerts, and I have watched him so much I've almost become him on-stage by instinct," Tucker said.
"As soon as I flick the cowboy hat on, it just happens," he said.
The Cowboys and Angels tour covers the East Coast over 23 dates, beginning in Canberra on February 3.
Cowboys and Angels
Where: Twin Towns
When: Saturday, March 11
Tickets: From $45.
Phone: 1800 014 014
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