Toby Keith Passes On at 62

After a bout with stomach cancer, Toby Keith passed away yesterday at age 62..

2/6/20243 min read

Toby Keith has been a Country music icon for many years
Toby Keith has been a Country music icon for many years

Today has been a strange day in the American music world. It's been just two days since the women cleaned up at the Grammy's and the headlines still revolve around Taylor Swift and the upcoming Super Bowl, which the Tennessee lady may or may not attend. There was even a news clip of a U.S. Senator, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, singing a line from a Taylor Swift song. Shortly thereafter, things turned somber, when it was announced that Toby Keith had died after fighting stomach cancer for over a year.

Like Warren, Toby was born in Oklahoma, but the similarities stop there. Keith was an oilfield worker and semi-pro football player, who eventually made it big in Nashville with his breakout album, Boomtown. He is famous for his short-lived feud with Dixie Chicks singer, Natalie Maines, but in real life Toby was a blue dog democrat, who was comfortable with both Barrack Obama and Donald Trump. In 2017, Toby Keith played at a pre-inaugural Make America Great rally and then Trump returned the favor by giving the C & W singer a National Medal of Arts in 2021.

Toby Keith is survived by a wife, Tricia, and three children.

Sad News Today

A Country & Western Staple

After his breakout album in 1993, Toby Keith dominated the charts for several decades. Even after his cancer diagnosis, Toby managed to find the strength and will to perform with his last concert occurring just two months ago, a time when the singer was conceivably in some pain and discomfort.

Like most Country singers and performers, Toby Keith began at the bottom and worked his way up. His venture into the School of Hard Knocks, included busking on the streets of Nashville and touring the Texas-Oklahoma red dirt club circuit with a small band. However, once Toby found success, he kept producing meaningful music well into the 21st century.

He was well known for his beef with the Dixie Chicks over their comments regarding George Bush and the Iraq War, a military intervention, which, by the way, he was not particularly fond of. Even in this dispute, Toby was quick to drop his animosity and moved on to other things.

My Experience

As one that does not regularly attend Country music concerts, my experience with Toby Keith was rather limited. I came across his music, while researching videos to include in an article concerning songs written about horses. That is when I came across his duet with Willie Nelson, titled Beer For My Horses, Whiskey for My Men. It was a catchy title, plus I was intrigued by how a mainstream singer, reacted with that Ole Outlaw, Willie Nelson.

I even went as far as to research further into the unusual title. Was beer actually good for horses? The answer, I found out was a little bit ambiguous. The grain in the beer was definitely something that horses like, the alcohol was probably not a problem, but the temperature of the popular elixir was a major concern. No way should anyone give a horse a cold beer. Beer for horses must be served at room temperature, if served at all.

I have no idea how Toby Keith came up with this title, but what impressed me most about the video was how well Willie Nelson fit into his role as the father of the main character, portrayed by Toby. In essence from Willie Nelson to Donald Trump, Mr. Keith was a person, who could get along with just about anyone. Presently, this is a worthy attribute, desperately needed by a whole lot of public figures.

A horse walked into a bar and chugged a beer
A horse walked into a bar and chugged a beer