Tributes For Country Music Star, Toby Keith, Dead at 62

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Toby Keith, one of country music’s biggest stars, died last night (February 5, 2024). The legendary singer-songwriter and musician had revealed in 2022 that he was battling stomach cancer. The news of his death in Oklahoma at age 62 was announced on his various social media platforms with a message that noted, “He fought his fight with grace and courage.” As recently as December 2023, Keith had performed several concerts in Las Vegas. Tributes for the musician appear below.

Keith was bestowed the National Medal of Arts in 2021, to honor his artistic achievements and contributions to the arts and culture of America. He earned his first of 20 U.S. number one singles with his very first release, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” in 1993. His songwriting was recognized by his 2015 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York and his 2021 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Keith has sold more than 40 million albums. His other #1 hits include “Who’s That Man,” “Me Too,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!” (his first to successfully crossover to the Hot 100, where it reached #31), “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This,” “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight,” “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “Beer For My Horses” (with Willie Nelson), “I Love This Bar,” “American Soldier,” “Whiskey Girl,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “She Never Cried in Front of Me,” “God Love Her,” and “Made in America.” Keith received seven Grammy Award nominations during his career, but never won.

One unexpected highlight was a most impactful viral event, “Red Solo Cup,” the video for which has received nearly 70 million views and was named ACM Video of the Year.

His numerous USO tours enhanced the lives of more than 250,000 troops and military families in 18 countries with more than 285 events and has been recognized with the Spirit of the USO Award in 2014.

Jimmy Webb wrote, “Our hearts are heavy. We loved this man who had the personality of a superhero and the heart of a playful child. He fought so hard….”

Tanya Tucker wrote, in part, “He was so kind, patriotic, loved his country, loved his fans.”

The family of the late Loretta Lynn shared a tribute to Keith.

Don McLean wrote, “I admire the way Toby battled this awful illness. He released new music, and he was on stage at the end. There is nothing coming along to replace people like him.”

Doug Gray, founding member and lead vocalist of the Marshall Tucker Band wrote, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of the great Toby Keith. What an amazing talent. We lost another Real Cowboy! Gone too soon but we know where he is. Ride in Peace, TK.”

Best Classic Bands Staff

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