Feature Friday: Toby Keith
May 5th, 2017
Toby Keith is a well known country music star from Clinton, Oklahoma. Born July 8, 1961, Keith became interested in music early on after spending time at his grandmothers in the summers. His grandmother was the owner of the Billie Garner's Supper Club in Fort Smith, a place that often hosted live musicians that Keith drew interest to. Soon enough he was hopping onstage with the bands, and by age 8 he was ready for his first guitar. For the next many years Keith led a normal life, gaining a High School education then working a job in the oil fields. At 20, he and some friends started the ‘Easy Money Band,’ playing at local bars while still maintaining his job as a oil worker. Eventually, after the oil industry went down hill, his band, now just called ‘Easy Money,’ started to play at the Honky Tonk in Texas and Oklahoma. In the early 90’s Keith signed a contract with Mercury Records after a flight attendant had given a company executive his demo tape. By 1993 Toby Keith had hit number 1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs with "Should've Been a Cowboy,” and his chart topping music has continued since. “Should've Been a Cowboy” ended up being the number 1 played country song of the 90s and it’s debut album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The self titled album had 3 other songs to make country chart’s top 5, and Keith proceeded to release another album the very next year, “Boomtown.” His second album made top hits with "Who's That Man,” "Upstairs Downtown" and "You Ain't Much Fun” and also was certified platinum. Since then Keith has been releasing albums almost yearly, along with earning a lot of attention and awards. His awards have included 2 time for both Favorite County Album and Favorite Country Male Artist by American Music Awards, and many from the Academy of Country Music including Album of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, Entertainer of the Year and Video of the Year. Keith ended up becoming his own producer and starting the label Show Dog Nashville, the label ended up merging with Universal South Records and became Show Dog-Universal Music in 2009. Throughout his career Keith has released a total of seventeen studio albums, four compilation albums, and two Christmas albums. He also made top charts on the Billboard Hot Country Songs with sixty-one of his singles. Twenty of his hits made it to a number 1 spot and twenty-one other songs were also top 10 hits, wow. Toby Keith is also a father of 3 and happily married, he continues to make music and occasionally does some acting. He is currently on tour in the United States, with a plethora of shows coming up this summer. Including a performance on Friday July 7th at the Common Ground Music Festival, along with other country artists LoCash, Aileeah Colgan, Drew Hale and Lisa Mary.