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Toby Keith

Toby Keith spent the '90s as a solid, workmanlike country star who met with considerable chart success, yet never quite broke free of the neo-traditionalist pack to become a household name like Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson. That all changed in 2002 when he recorded "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," a response to September 11 that became one of country's most highly charged political statements since Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee." The media furor ensured that even people with no knowledge of country music still knew him as "the guy with the 'boot in the a**' song," and helped make Keith a genuine phenomenon. Yet he'd been recording for nearly a decade prior and already had several chart-topping country singles to his credit.

Keith was born Toby Keith Covel in Clinton, Oklahoma, in 1961 and grew up mostly on a farm in Moore, near the outskirts of Oklahoma City. He took up guitar at age eight, inspired by the country musicians who played at the supper club his grandmother ran. He listened to his father's Bob Wills records and fell in love with Haggard's music. He worked as a rodeo hand while in high school, and after graduation, he found work in the nearby oil fields. In the meantime, he formed the Easy Money Band and played Alabama-style country-rock in area honky tonks. After about three years, the oil industry hit a major downturn, and Keith turned to playing semipro football for a USFL farm team, even trying out (unsuccessfully) for the short-lived league's Oklahoma City franchise. Following two years as a football player, Keith decided to focus on music and adopted a much more rigorous touring schedule. He cut a few records for local indie labels, and his demo tape eventually found its way to onetime Alabama producer Harold Shedd, who helped Keith land a deal with Mercury.

Keith's self-titled debut album was released in 1993 and made him an out-of-the-box success with its chart-topping single "Should've Been a Cowboy." Three more songs from the record -- "Wish I Didn't Know Now," "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action," and "He Ain't Worth Missing" -- made the Top Five, and the album sold over two million copies. "Who's That Man," the lead single from his second album, Boomtown, was released in late 1994 and became his second number one; Boomtown hit stores in early 1995 and went gold on the strength of further Top Ten hits "Upstairs Downtown" and "You Ain't Much Fun." Keith followed it later that year with the holiday record Christmas to Christmas and returned with the proper album Blue Moon in 1996. Its first two singles, "A Woman's Touch" and "Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You," went Top Ten, and the third, "Me Too," gave Keith his third number one, also helping the album go platinum. Released in 1997, Dream Walkin' marked his first collaboration with prolific producer James Stroud, with whom he would work regularly from then on. "We Were in Love" and the title track were both Top Five hits, as was "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying," a duet with Sting. However, Keith longed for an even bigger breakthrough, and he was growing dissatisfied with Mercury's promotional efforts. In 1999, he left the label and followed Stroud over to the Nashville division of DreamWorks.

Keith's label debut, How Do You Like Me Now?!, appeared in late 1999 and started to bring him the wider recognition he felt poised for. The title cut went to number one on the country charts and brought him his first Top 40 pop hit; its follow-up, "Country Comes to Town," went Top Five, and "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This" also hit number one. Overall, the album had a rough, brash attitude that helped give Keith a stronger identity as a performer. It was also the first to bring him those long-desired major industry awards, when in 2001 the Academy of Country Music named him Male Vocalist of the Year and named How Do You Like Me Now?! its Album of the Year. In the meantime, Keith became more visible in the mainstream media, appearing in cameos on Touched by an Angel and in a Dukes of Hazzard TV reunion movie, as well as co-starring in a series of telephone commercials. Later in 2001, his follow-up album, Pull My Chain, became his first to top the country charts and also his first Top Ten pop album. It spun off three number one singles: "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight," "I Wanna Talk About Me," and "My List."

Keith was already a burgeoning superstar when he recorded "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" in the summer of 2002. A raging response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the song struck a fierce chord with aggressively patriotic listeners, while others condemned it as knee-jerk jingoism. The whole controversy came to a head when ABC News anchor Peter Jennings objected to Keith's scheduled performance on a network Fourth of July schedule. Keith was axed from the guest list, and the ensuing media flap proved to be a publicity coup. Meanwhile, the song went to number one on the country charts and crossed over into the pop Top 25. All of this set the stage for Unleashed, which sold like hotcakes upon its release later in 2002, debuting at number one on both the country and pop charts. "Who's Your Daddy?" was a number one country hit, and the Willie Nelson duet "Beer for My Horses" also made the country Top Ten.

In 2003, Keith released Shock'n Y'All, which, despite its title, was chock-full of enough rough-and-rowdy hits to once again connect hugely with heartland America. Honkytonk University followed in May 2005, the same year that Mercury released Chronicles, a collection of three of his biggest albums: Toby Keith, Boomtown, and Blue Moon.

After departing from Universal and longtime producer Stroud, Keith established his own company, Show Dog Nashville, and in 2006 released the label's first record, the number two hit White Trash with Money. A year later he released Big Dog Daddy, the first album he produced himself, and also a holiday album, A Classic Christmas. Keith continued his steady pace over the next few years, releasing That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy in 2008, American Ride in 2009, and Bullets in the Gun in 2010.

Clancy's Tavern, which appeared in 2011, was inspired by his grandmother’s club, which he visited frequently as a child. Keith was also selected Artist of the Decade at the American Country Awards in December of 2011. Clancy's Tavern gave Keith a pair of hits in "Made in America" and "Red Solo Cup" -- the former topped Billboard's country charts; the latter reached the Billboard Top 40 -- and in the fall of 2012 he returned with another new album, Hope on the Rocks, which was preceded by the single "I Like Girls That Drink Beer." Neither "I Like Girls That Drink Beer" nor the album's second single "Hope on the Rocks" went further than 17 on the charts, and Keith soon returned with his 17th album, Drinks After Work. Released almost a year to the day after Hope on the Rocks, Drinks After Work appeared in late October 2013; it was preceded by the single release of its title track, which peaked at number 28 on the country charts. The follow-up "Shut Up and Hold On" made it to number 49. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Crash Here Tonight (Radio Single)

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Track List: Drinks After Work (Single)

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Track List: High Maintenance Woman [Radio Single]

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Track List: I Like Girls That Drink Beer (Single)

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Track List: She's A Hottie (Radio Single)

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Track List: Trailerhood (Radio Single)

Comments

svega69715
igot1stround
Love this song
how do you like me now
lwahl0327
I love all his songs
1 Kiss you hand
2 Say your crushes name
3 Say your name
4 pick a school day
5 post this on 15 other songs
6 on that day your pick your crush will ask you out
I remember when Toby Kieth just started singing way back when he was just a kid. He was tiny. OMG. Look at him now. When he grew up, he really grew up.
Franisco denise
Cool
Please follow me everyone if you hate Justin beiber
I adore Toby Keith! I have listened to his music since I was five years old and have only grown to love his music more in the last thirteen years. I cannot think of an artist that I would rather listen to than Toby Keith and every single time I hear his music, I will always remember my beloved great-grandm o t h e r , who passed away a day after attending the only live Toby Keith concert she could afford to go to. God bless you, Toby Keith! <3
I ABSOLUTULY LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!!! TOTALLY AMERICAN!!!! ! !
THIS SONG WILL BE SONG AFTER WE KICK RUSSIA'S BUTT!
jnbabygirl20 0 4
I like your music your a freaking good singer
hey yall
hey yall
Toby Keith is such an obnoxious hillbilly. Good to see he took time away from spitting on Mexicans to write a few songs.
Raise up our glasses and saddle up our horses
Ok
Uncle Sam Junior!
Say iphone 5x and say your favorite color. Tomorrow an iphone the color you said will be outside.
bobbiebain
Hell ya keep it up love your music
kiss ur left hand
2. Say ur chrush's name
3.close ur hand
4.say a day of the week
5.say ur name
6.open ur hand
7 post this on 15 songs and ur crush will ask u out on the day u said
desiree.whee l e r
COURTESY OF THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE!!!!!!!! !
Yeah
Toby Keith is good singer
dsth23
Toby Keith is a badass
America for real
garywd811
Toby you are amazing
Toby i love your music it always reminds me how fortunate i am to be an american and how great america is.
uncle toby
you throw a snake at me and I scream
Amazing
Follow for a follow
Love his music.
I love Toby Keith and his songs
oaks2oaks
I love Toby
His songs are so patriotic.
I wish more people loved Toby's music like my family does
1 Kiss your left hand
2 say your crushes name
3close your hand
4 say your crushes name
5 say your name
6 write this on 15 songs and your crush will ask you out
I wasn't aware you could comment
Toby Keith is a amazing singer
Cool
cwnjj2014
Up
cwnjj2014
Hi
Toby Keith your my favorite singer ever
Great Toby before he thought he was a rapper!
I Like it
I love Toby Keith :-)
like
And i am 14 years old
Ok
I did lit up my enemy like the fourth of July with a 20 gaugae, 12 gauage, 30-06, and a truck with a lot of m4a1s
Show more

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