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Toby Keith is an American country music singer and songwriter best known for his country music career. Throughout his career, Keith’s music has appeared on a number of different labels. He recently started his own label called Show Dog Nashville.
Toby Keith was born as Toby Keith Covel in Clinton, Oklahoma on July 8, 1961. Keith grew up in a suburb of Oklahoma City called Moore, Oklahoma. Keith developed an interest in music at an early age as he listed to various musicians play at his grandmother’s supper club. Keith soon became a high school football star. After high school, Keith worked in Oklahoma’s oil fields where he eventually became an operation manager. During his years in the oil fields, he started a band called Easy Money. After his time working in the oil fields, Keith played football as a defensive end with the Oklahoma City Drillers (a semi-pro team) and continued to perform with his band. Eventually, he decided to pursue a full time music career. Easy Money soon released a single called Blue Moon with moderate success.
Toby Keith moved to Nashville in 1993. In Nashville, he distributed his band’s country music demo tape without much success. He played outside the same hot dog stand, Houndogs, where country music artist Tim McGraw was discovered. Keith got his big break when an airline flight attendant gave his demo tape to Harold Shedd of Mercury Records. Soon enough, Toby Keith has signed with Mercury Records and released his debut single, Should’ve Been a Cowboy. Toby Keith stayed with Mercury Records for some time, moved to Polydor Records which eventually went out of business, moved back to Mercury Records (a/k/a Mercury Nashville), later worked with Dreamworks and Universal Music Group and eventually started his own label called Show Dog Nashville.
Toby Keith’s career has focused on country music, although he has also had other avenues of fame and success. Keith has appeared in television ads for both Telecom USA and Ford cars. Keith has also appeared on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Keith was the subject of the Playboy Magazine’s Playboy Interview in early 2005. He also toured with Ted Nugent, a rock guitarist. Toby Keith successfully opened a chain of restaurants called I Love This Bar & Grill. Finally, in 2006, Keith appeared in the major motion picture Broken Bridges from Paramount/CMT Films, directed by Steven Goldmann and also starring Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds and Tess Harper.
In 1984, Toby Keith married Tricia Lucus. He is the father of Shelly, Krystal and Stelen. Keith considers himself to be a conservative democrat who has endorsed President George W. Bush and who has also endorsed a series of democratic candidates.
Music / Albums
To date, Toby Keith has released 14 albums. The names of the albums are: Toby Keith (1993), Boomtown (1994), Christmas to Christmas (1995), Blue Moon (1996), Dream Walkin’ (1997), Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (1998), How Do You Like Me Now?! (1999), Pull My Chain (2001), Unleashed (2002), The Best of Toby Keith (2003), Shock’n Y’all (2003), Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (2004), Honkytonk University (2005) and White Trash with Money (2006). Toby Keith’s 2002 Hit called Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American) was the source of much controversy and debate. ABC’s Peter Jennings asked Keith to modify the lyrics to this song before appearing on an ABC show that Jennings was hosting. Keith refused to do so and did not appear on the show. Keith also feuded with the Dixie Chicks, namely lead singer Natalie Maines, over the content of this song. Regardless of this controversy, the song became a Number 1 hit. Keith’s duet with Willie Nelson called Beer For My Horses made the Unleashed album a huge success.
Toby Keith has won numerous music honors and awards. To date, Keith has won multiple Country Music Association Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, BMI Awards and People’s Choice Awards.