Country music lost one of its biggest stars on Monday night as Oklahoma native Toby Keith passed away at the age of 62.
Keith had been battling stomach cancer, having made the announcement of his illness back in 2022.
Keith rose to fame in the 1990s after relocating from Oklahoma, where he worked in the oil fields, to Nashville. After the oil field industry collapsed, Keith even spent some time playing semi-professional football for the Oklahoma City Drillers before moving to Nashville to pursue music.
Throughout his life he remained an avid fan of the University of Oklahoma athletics programs.
Over the course of his career, he collected more than 60 singles on the Hot Country Chart.
He had 20 No. 1 Billboard hits including “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “My List” and “Beer for My Horses”, which was a duet with Willie Nelson.
But what Keith will perhaps most be remembered for, however, was his overt patriotism and pride in the United States. Shortly after 9/11, Keith released Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue, a song that still frequents Americans’ Fourth of July playlists in 2024.
RIP Toby Keith.
American legend. pic.twitter.com/zmC3X5SpKv
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 6, 2024
Keith continued to perform even through his cancer treatments, having played “Don’t Let the Old Man In” at the People’s Choice Country Awards in November.
In 2020, Keith was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Donald Trump.
Keith and his wife, Tricia Lucus, had three children.
Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP