Fri. May 24th, 2024

Country music industry reacts to Toby Keith’s death

“Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The country music industry is mourning the loss of beloved singer and songwriter Toby Keith.

Keith, 62, died Monday night after a battle with stomach cancer.

The country singer died Monday February 5, 2024 at 62

“Toby Keith was big, brash, and never bowed down or slowed down for anyone,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “His story is a distinctly American one — a former roughneck oil worker who carved out his own space in country music with a sinewy voice and an unbending will to succeed.”

 

https://youtu.be/asMltxWho6M?si=QQ4a2GeUIhT7ywPC

Keith was best known for his hits like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” “I Love This Bar,” “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “Red Solo Cup.” He’s a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame but has not been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“He wrote his breakthrough songs and later formed his own record label when he felt underserved by Nashville,” Young said. “He relished being an outsider and doing things his way. Proudly patriotic, he didn’t mind if his clear-cut convictions ruffled your feathers.”

Country music stars joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in passing condolences after Keith’s death, including Jason Aldean, who said he woke up Tuesday morning to the news.

“Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans,” Aldean wrote on X. “Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man.”

“Beautiful Crazy” singer Luke Combs also weighed in, expressing his disbelief at the loss of a country icon.

“Damn, RIP Toby,” Combs said. “Can’t believe it.”

Country band Old Dominion called Keith a “true trailblazer” who will be missed but not forgotten.

“Authentic and heartfelt but always with a wink ‘til the end,” the band wrote on X. “He was larger than life in so many ways and his music will live on forever! Raising our red solos tonight — you will be missed by so many. Peace.”


Oklahoma Country Music Singer Toby Keith Dies at 62, flags at half-staff

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Country Superstar and Oklahoma Native Toby Keith died on Monday. He was 62.

The announcement came with a post on his web site and social media accounts:

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer-songwriter, who had stomach cancer, died peacefully Monday surrounded by his family, according to a statement posted on the country singer’s website. “He fought his fight with grace and courage,” the statement said. He announced his cancer diagnosis in 2022.

The 6-foot-4 singer broke out in the country boom years of the 1990s, writing songs that fans loved to hear. Over his career he publicly clashed with other celebrities and journalists and often pushed back against record executives who wanted to smooth his rough edges.

He was known for his overt patriotism on post 9/11 songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and boisterous barroom tunes like “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup.” He had a powerful booming voice, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and range that carried love songs as well as drinking song

Keith considered Moore to be his hometown and flags will be lowered to half-staff within city limits in his honor.

“Toby Keith was big, brash, and never bowed down or slowed down for anyone. His story is a distinctly American one—a former roughneck oil worker who carved out his own space in country music with a sinewy voice and an unbending will to succeed. He wrote his breakthrough songs and later formed his own record label when he felt underserved by Nashville. He relished being an outsider and doing things his way. Proudly patriotic, he didn’t mind if his clear-cut convictions ruffled your feathers. For three decades, he reflected the defiant strength of the country music audience. His memory will continue to stand tall.”

KYLE YOUNG, CEO COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM

“Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing. Today is a sad day for country music and its fans. Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man.” — Jason Aldean, on X, formerly Twitter.

 

“I loved him as a musician. A great Oklahoman. A great American. What a loss!” — Kristin Chenoweth, a fellow Oklahoman, on Instagram.

 

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“God Bless you and Family. Hard to imagine an America without Toby Keith in it.” — Randy Houser on Instagram.

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Renowned country singer Toby Keith dies at 62 after battle with stomach cancer

 

Country singer Toby Keith died Monday at the age of 62 after a battle with stomach cancer.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time,” a statement posted to Keith’s website and social media said.

Elaine Schock, who has been Keith’s publicist since 2003, confirmed his death to CNN. He leaves behind his wife, Tricia, and three children, Shelley, Krystal and Stelen, his publicist told CNN. His mother and two siblings survive him.

Keith revealed his stomach cancer diagnosis in 2022.

“I’ve spent the last six months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” he said in a statement at the time. “I am looking forward to spending time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later.”

He continued performing, recently playing shows in Las Vegas.

Listen to some of Toby Keith’s biggest hits

The country singer died Monday February 5, 2024 at 62

Earlier this month, he posted a video offering advice to other songwriters. “Just toil away every day,” he said.

Keith said most of his catalog was created while he was writing at least four to five days a week. “You gotta have volume, you gotta have practice, and you gotta keep your chops up, and you gotta stay in the middle of the game,” he said.

Keith performed at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards in September and received the Country Icon Award.

He released his debut album in 1993 and is known for hits including “Red Solo Cup” and “I Wanna Talk About Me.” His 2002 song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” released in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, made him a household name.

Keith performed hundreds of shows for US service members abroad, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as at events for Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

“There’s not one single thing political about supporting the troops,” he said.

In 2021, then-President Trump awarded Keith the National Medal of Arts, which the National Endowment for the Arts describes as “the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.”source


Toby Keith, country singer-songwriter, dies at 62 after stomach cancer diagnosis

Toby Keith, a hit country crafter of pro-American anthems who both riled up critics and was loved by millions of fans, has died. He was 62.

The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer-songwriter, who had stomach cancer, died peacefully Monday surrounded by his family, according to a statement posted on the country singer’s website. “He fought his fight with grace and courage,” the statement said. He announced his cancer diagnosis in 2022.

The 6-foot-4 singer broke out in the country boom years of the 1990s, writing songs that fans loved to hear. Over his career he publicly clashed with other celebrities and journalists and often pushed back against record executives who wanted to smooth his rough edges.

He was known for his overt patriotism on post 9/11 songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and boisterous barroom tunes like “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup.” He had a powerful booming voice, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and range that carried love songs as well as drinking songs.

Among his 20 No. 1 Billboard hits were “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “My List” and “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson. His influences were other working class songwriters like Merle Haggard and he tallied more than 60 singles on the Hot Country chart over his career.

Throughout the cancer treatments, Keith continued to perform, most recently playing in Las Vegas in December. He also performed on the People’s Choice Country Awards in 2023 as he sang his song “Don’t Let the Old Man In.”

“Cancer is a roller coaster,” he told KWTV during an interview aired last month. “You just sit here and wait on it to go away. It might never go away.”

Keith worked as a roughneck in the oil fields of Oklahoma as a young man, then played semi-pro football before launching his career as a singer.

“I write about life, and I sing about life, and I don’t overanalyze things,” Keith told The Associated Press in 2001, following the success of his song “I’m Just Talking About Tonight.”

Keith learned good lessons in the booming oil fields, which toughened him up, but also showed him the value of money.

“The money to be made was unbelievable,” Keith told the AP in 1996. “I came out of high school in 1980 and they gave me this job December of 1979, $50,000 a year. I was 18 years old.”

In this April 7, 2014, file photo shows Toby Keith performs at ACM Presents an All-Star Salute to the Troops in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

But the domestic oil field industry collapsed and Keith had not saved. “It about broke us,” he said. “So I just learned. I’ve taken care of my money this time.”

He spent a couple seasons as a defensive end for the Oklahoma City Drillers, a farm team for the now-defunct United States Football League. But he found consistent money playing music with his band throughout the red dirt roadhouse circuit in Oklahoma and Texas.

“All through this whole thing the only constant thing we had was music,” he said. “But it’s hard to sit back and say, ‘I’m going to go make my fortune singing music, or writing music.’ I had no contacts.”

Eventually his path took him to Nashville, where he attracted the interest of Mercury Records head Harold Shedd, who was best known as a producer for the hit group Alabama. Shedd brought him to Mercury, where he released his platinum debut record “Toby Keith,” in 1993.

Toby Keith arrives at the People’s Choice Country Awards on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

“Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” his breakout hit, was played 3 million times on radio stations, making it the most played country song of the 1990s.

But the label’s focus on global star Shania Twain overshadowed the rest of the roster and Keith felt that the executives were trying to push him in a pop direction.

“They were trying to get me to compromise, and I was living a miserable existence,” Keith told the AP. “Everybody was trying to mold me into something I was not.”

After a series of albums that produced hits like “Who’s That Man,” and a cover of Sting’s “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying,” Keith moved to DreamWorks Records in 1999.

Keith often wore his politics on his sleeve, especially after the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in 2001, and early on he said he was a conservative Democrat, but later claimed he was an independent. He played at events for Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the latter giving him a National Medal of the Arts in 2021. His songs and his blunt opinions sometimes caused him controversy, which he seemed to court.

His 2002 song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” included a threat — “We’ll put a boot in your ass — It’s the American way” — to anyone who dared to mess with America.

That song got pulled from a patriotic ABC Fourth of July special after producers deemed it too angry for the show. Singer-songwriter Steve Earle called Keith’s song “pandering to people’s worst instincts at a time they are hurt and scared.”

Then there was the feud between Keith and The Chicks (formerly called the Dixie Chicks), who became a target of Keith’s ire when singer Natalie Maines told a crowd that they were ashamed of then-President George W. Bush. Maines had also previously called Keith’s song “ignorant.”

Keith, who had previously claimed that he supported any artist’s freedom to voice their opinion about politics, used a doctored photo of Maines with an image of Saddam Hussein at his concerts, further ramping up angry fans.

Maines responded by wearing a shirt with the letters “FUTK” onstage at the 2003 ACM Awards, which many people believed was a vulgar message to Keith.

Keith, who had acknowledged that he holds onto grudges, walked out of the ACM Awards in 2003 early because he had gotten snubbed in earlier categories, causing him to miss out when he was announced as entertainer of the year. Vince Gill accepted on his behalf. He came back the next year and won the top prize for a second year in a row, along with top male vocalist and album of the year for “Shock ’n Y’all.”

His pro-military stance wasn’t just fodder for songs, however. He went on 11 USO tours to visit and play for troops serving overseas. He also helped to raise millions for charity over his career, including building a home in Oklahoma City for kids with cancer and their families.

After Universal Music Group acquired DreamWorks, Keith started anew again, starting his own record label, Show Dog, in 2005 with record executive Scott Borchetta, who launched his own label Big Machine at the same time.

“Probably 75% of the people in this town think I’ll fail, and the other 25% hope I fail,” he said that year.

Later the label became Show Dog-Universal Music and had Keith, Trace Adkins, Joe Nichols, Josh Thompson, Clay Walker and Phil Vassar on its roster.

His later hits included “Love Me If You Can,” “She Never Cried In Front of Me,” and “Red Solo Cup.” He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

He was honored by the performance rights organization BMI in November 2022 with the BMI Icon award, a few months after announcing his stomach cancer diagnosis.

“I always felt like that the songwriting was the most important part of this whole industry,” Keith told the crowd of fellow singers and writers. source


City of Moore honoring Toby Keith by lowering flags to half-staff

City officials added that they are grateful for the contributions Toby Keith made to Moore and that they extend their condolences to his family.

Moore officials announced Tuesday that flags will be lowered to half-staff within city limits to honor country music superstar Toby Keith, who died Monday night.

We are saddened to learn of the passing of our beloved Toby Keith. Toby considered Moore his hometown and we were honored, on many occasions, to welcome him home and receive his overwhelming generosity,” city of Moore officials posted on social media. “Beyond his extraordinary musical talents, Toby was known for his generous spirit and his loyalty to our military, our state, his family, friends and fans.”

City officials added that they are grateful for the contributions Keith made to Moore and that they extend their condolences to his family.

Keith was born on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, but his family moved to Moore when the future country singer was young. He graduated from Moore High School in 1979 and went on to work in the oil fields before playing semiprofessional football for the Oklahoma City Drillers.

Even though Keith became one of the most well-known names in country music, he never forgot where he came from and gave back to the community that raised him in countless ways.

He started the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006, helping children with cancer. The foundation opened the OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment.

Keith opened up several restaurants and bars statewide and made sure to support everything Oklahoma, including the Sooners. Throughout the years, he could be seen on the sidelines or in the stands at countless OU athletics events.

Early Tuesday morning, Keith’s website and social media pages announced that he died peacefully on Monday while surrounded by his family.

Keith was born on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, but his family moved to Moore when the future country singer was young. He graduated from Moore High School in 1979 and went on to work in the oil fields before playing semiprofessional football for the Oklahoma City Drillers.

Even though Keith became one of the most well-known names in country music, he never forgot where he came from and gave back to the community that raised him in countless ways.

He started the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006, helping children with cancer. The foundation opened the OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment.

Keith opened up several restaurants and bars statewide and made sure to support everything Oklahoma, including the Sooners. Throughout the years, he could be seen on the sidelines or in the stands at countless OU athletics events.

Early Tuesday morning, Keith’s website and social media pages announced that he died peacefully on Monday while surrounded by his family. source