Toby Keith was an American country singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer, born on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Oklahoma.
From his earliest forays into the music scene, Keith showcased an ability to tap into the pulse of America, weaving narratives that resonated deeply with his audience.
Tony released his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” in the early ’90s, and it quickly climbed the charts, in fact, it became an instant country classic.
This early success set the stage for a series of hits, forging Keith into a big name the country music scene.
He further solidified his status as a hitmaker with songs like “How Do You Like Me Now?!” and “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson.
In the span of his career Toby saw 60 singles hit the country music top charts, including twenty #1 hits.
In 2015, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Toby Keith’s music often reflected a deep sense of patriotism and love for America. This was clearly evident in the post-9/11 era.
During that time, Keith blessed his audience with songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American),” which conveyed the nation’s collective anger and resolve. Such tracks sometimes stirring controversy, but however, it underscored Keith’s willingness to voice his convictions through his music.
Toby Keith Covel is one of three children (one girl and two boys) of Carolyn and Hubert Covel.
When Keith was a kid, he visited his grandmother in the summers. She owned a Supper Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Fascinated by the musicians who played in the supper club, he got his first guitar at age 8, did odd jobs around his grandma’s club, and eventually got up on stage to play with the house band.
Toby and his siblings grew up in Moore, Oklahoma, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was the defensive end on the Moore High School football team.
He worked in the oil fields as a derrick. This was after his graduation from high school.
Dedicated to his job, he worked his way up to operations manager.
At 20, Toby joined forces with some friends and this birthed the Easy Mony Band.
The band played at local bars, while Toby continued to work in the oil fields as well.
The oil industry experienced setbacks leading to his lay off in 1982.
Toby then played defensive end for the semi-pro football team, the Oklahoma City Drillers. A couple of years later, Easy Money found some regional success and started playing in honky-tonks in Texas and Oklahoma.
On March 24, 1984, Keith married Tricia Lucus. The union was blessed w three children.
Shelley was born in 1980 and adopted by Keith in 1984. Krystal, born in 1985, and son Stelen, who was born in 1997.
He also has two granddaughters and one grandson via his daughter Shelley.
On March 24, 2001, Keith’s father was killed in a car accident.
The incident, combined with the events of September 11, 2001, prompted Keith to write the controversial “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)”.
The song gained huge popularity, particularly among military personnel.
However, it sparked a rift between Keith and singer Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks.
Toby Keith’s net worth
Keith had a net worth of $400 million at the time of his death.
Sadly, he died on February 5, 2024, at the age of 62, after a battle with cancer.
Beyond his musical achievements, Toby Keith was also known for his entrepreneurial endeavors.
It is believed that he earned more money during his career from these non-musical ventures than he ever did recording or performing music.
He ventured into various businesses, from a record label to restaurant chains, all of which showcased his distinct brand and identity.
In 2004 he paid $400,000 for a 10% stake in a little-known record label called Big Machine Records.
Prior to this, about year earlier, the label’s founder, Scott Borchetta, signed a 15-year-old named Taylor Swift.
In the middle of 2022, Toby revealed that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.
After battling with the disease, he finally succumbed to that cancer on February 5, 2024 at the age of 62.