Famous Okies: Toby Keith

Get ready for your 90s country music throwback at the ACM Awards
Posted at 11:24 AM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 12:30:12-04

Toby Keith is an American country singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer and he is a famous Okie!

Born on July 8, 1961 as Toby Keith Covel in Clinton, his family first lived in Forth Smith, Ark. where he became interested in music and becoming a musician after visiting his grandmother's tavern, Billie Garner's Supper Club. He did odd jobs and joined the band to play often at the tavern as a young child.

He was still interested in music after his family moved to Moore, Okla. Keith would later attend Highland West Junior High and Moore High School, where he played music as a teen and was a member of the football team.

After Keith graduated high school, he worked in the oil and gas industry as a derrick hand and later as an operation manager. When he was 20, Keith and his friends formed the Easy Money Band that would play local bars at night while he worked in the oil fields during the day. Keith would often have to leave in the middle of a concert if he was paged to work in the oil field.

When the oil and gas industry saw a decline in 1982, Keith found himself unemployed. He went to play football with the semi-pro Oklahoma City Drillers and still playing with his band. Over time, he became more focused on music despite some friends and family unsure he would make it.

Keith would later prove them wrong. He released his first album Toby Keith in 1993. He would then release three more albums, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon, and 1997's Dream Walkin'. All four albums produced several Top Ten singles and earned Gold or higher certification. His debut single "Should've Been a Cowboy" became the most-played country song of the 1990s.

He would eventually sign to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 1998, he would release his breakthrough single "How Do You Like Me Now?!" in late 1999. This song would become the number one country song of the year 2000. Keith would continue to find success and produce multiple number one chart-toppers until DreamWorks Records closed in 2005.

Keith founded the label Show Dog Nashville and would later release ten more studio albums and several compilation albums over the years. He would make his acting debut in 2006 in the film Broken Bridges and later appear in Beer for My Horses.

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