The familiar maxim of the triple threat – singer, songwriter, musician – doesn’t begin to cover it for Toby Keith, one of the modern era’s most complete self-directed hit makers. And Keith’s most recent months are a remarkably accurate representation of his entire career. In September 2017 he released The Bus Songs which went on to set a Billboard Comedy Albums chart record for a country artist by holding the No. 1 spot for 11 consecutive weeks. The collection of humorous, just-for-fun compositions includes two new songs “Shitty Golfer” and “Wacky Tobaccy,” whose accompanying music video features Willie Nelson and quickly became a surprise runaway viral hit. This past year also saw the continuation of the Toby Keith Interstates & Tailgates Tour presented by Ford F-Series with sold out shows coast to coast and filled venues nationwide throughout its two-year run. The Academy of Country Music also honored Keith with their Poet’s Award for songwriting in recognition of his musical and lyrical contributions as a songwriter throughout his career, and his songs’ impact on the culture of country music. Rounding out the year full of music-related accomplishments was his 14th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic which raised $1.6 million, a record-breaking amount of funds for a single event in the Toby Keith Foundation’s history, to aid sick children and their families in Oklahoma.
From the moment Toby’s debut single “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” released 25 years ago and shot up the charts to become his first No. 1, the engine driving everything has been the music. At the core is his songwriting, as recognized in his 2015 induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in New York City. The Nashville Songwriters Association International named him Songwriter/Artist of the Decade and he is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. His songs have received more than 91 million BMI performances on commercial radio stations worldwide. Keith’s albums have sold more than 40 million copies. His tours have drawn more than a million fans each year for more than a decade straight, with recent expansion into Europe and Australia. The awards are too numerous to count and include Artist of the Decade nods from Billboard and the American Country Awards, as well as the ACM’s Career Achievement honor and twice their Entertainer of the Year award winner in back-to-back years. Toby’s most rewarding experiences, however, have come from giving back locally, nationally and abroad. His golf classics fund the Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for families of children dealing with critical illnesses. His 11 USO Tours to date have enhanced the lives of nearly 256,000 troops and military families and have been recognized with the Spirit of the USO Award (2014). Triple threat? How about singer, songwriter, musician, producer, entertainer, humanitarian, Oklahoman and patriot, for starters.