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Toby Keith Covel (born July 8, 1961), best known as Toby Keith, is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor.
Keith released his first four studio albums—1993's Toby Keith, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon and 1997's Dream Walkin', plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving Mercury in 1998.
These albums all earned gold or higher certification, and produced several chart singles, including his debut "Should've Been a Cowboy", which topped the country charts and was the most played country song of the 1990s.
The song has received three million spins since its release, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated.Signed to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 1998, Keith released his breakthrough single "How Do You Like Me Now?!" that year.
This song, the title track to his 1999 album of the same name, was the Number One country song of 2000, and one of several chart-toppers during his tenure on DreamWorks Nashville.
His next three albums, Pull My Chain, Unleashed, and Shock'n Y'all, produced three more Number Ones each, and all of the albums were certified multi-platinum.
A second Greatest Hits package followed in 2004, and after that, he released Honkytonk University.When DreamWorks closed in 2005, Keith founded the label Show Dog Nashville, which merged with Universal South Records to become Show Dog-Universal Music in December 2009.
He has released seven studio albums through Show Dog/Show Dog-Universal: 2006's White Trash with Money, 2007's Big Dog Daddy, 2008's That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy, 2009's American Ride, 2010's Bullets in the Gun, 2011's Clancy's Tavern, 2012's Hope on the Rocks, and 2013's Drinks After Work, as well as the compilation 35 Biggest Hits in 2008.
Keith also made his acting debut in 2006, starring in the film Broken Bridges and co-starred with comedian Rodney Carrington in the 2008 film Beer for My Horses.Overall, Keith has released sixteen studio albums, two Christmas albums, and three compilation albums.
He has also charted more than forty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including nineteen Number One hits and sixteen additional Top Ten hits.
His longest-lasting Number One hits are "Beer for My Horses" (a 2003 duet with Willie Nelson) and "As Good as I Once Was" (2005), at six weeks each.
He has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.Television appearancesKeith performed on a series of television advertisements for Telecom USA for that company's discount long distance telephone service 10-10-220.
He also starred in Ford commercials, singing original songs such as "Ford Truck Man" and "Field Trip (Look Again)" while driving Ford trucks.Keith made an appearance at the first Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (then NWA-TNA) weekly pay-per-view on June 19, 2002, where his playing of "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett.
He would later enter the Gauntlet for the Gold main event, suplexing Jarrett and eliminating him from the match.
A short video of the suplex is seen in the clip package when he goes onstage.
He appeared the next week, on June 26, and helped Scott Hall defeat Jarrett in singles action.In 2009, Keith participated in the Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy, which aired on March 14, 2009.Keith received the "Colbert Bump" when he appeared on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
He holds the distinction of being the only musical artist to have received a five star rating from Stephen Colbert on iTunes.
Keith furthered this connection when he appeared in Colbert's 2008 Christmas special as a hunter.
Keith also made an appearance as a musical guest on the October 27, 2011 episode of the Colbert Report.On October 29, 2011, Keith appeared on Fox Channel's Huckabee with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
He played "Bullets in the Gun" and he joined with Huckabee's house band to play a song at the end of the show.ActingIn the Autumn of 2005, he filmed Broken Bridges, written by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld, and directed by Steven Goldmann.
This feature film from Paramount/CMT Films was released on September 8, 2006.
In this contemporary story set in small-town Tennessee, Keith plays Bo Price, a washed-up country musician.
The movie also stars Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, Tess Harper, and Lindsey Haun.Keith wrote and starred in the 2008 movie Beer for My Horses, which is based on the 2003 hit song of the same name recorded by Keith and Willie Nelson.Business venturesIn 2005, Keith opened Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as well as Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now also has restaurants in Thackerville, Oklahoma; Auburn Hills, Michigan; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Mesa, Arizona; Peoria, Arizona; St.
Louis Park, Minnesota; Foxborough, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Ohio; Newport News, Virginia; and Denver, Colorado.
Keith does not actually own the new restaurants; the new restaurant is the first in a franchise under Scottsdale, Arizona-based Capri Restaurant Group Enterprises LLC, which purchased the master license agreement to build more Toby Keith restaurants nationwide.
Capri Restaurant Group is owned by Frank Capri, who opened the restaurant in Mesa in the shopping center known as Mesa Riverview and is planning on opening multiple locations across the country.In 2009, Capri Restaurant Group announced that it will open another I Love this Bar & Grill location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's South Side Works shopping and entertainment district.February 2010 marked the opening of the Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in the Winstar World Casino, exit 1 on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma.
Other locations opened in 2010 by the Capri Restaurant Group included those in Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills, Michigan and in the Shops at West End in St.
Louis Park, Minnesota.In early 2009, Keith also established a line of clothing, TK Steelman.Keith supports Ally's House, a non-profit organization in Oklahoma designed to aid children with cancer.
Of the charity, Keith said:This is a special charity to me.
I saw firsthand how a child's cancer diagnosis can devastate a family.
Please join me in supporting these kids through Ally's House.
We're gonna make it better for the kids.In 2011, Keith introduced a new drink named “Wild Shot".
At first it was only available in Mexico, but now is sold and served in America.
It is a featured drink in his restaurant chain, I Love this Bar and Grill.Keith's music career and his various other business ventures have made him one of the wealthiest celebrities in the United States.
The July 15.
2013, edition of Forbes magazine features Keith on the cover with the caption "Country Music's $500 million man".
The article titled "Cowboy Capitalist" by Zack O'Malley Greenburg also contains information regarding Keith's earnings as a musician over the course of his career, such as earning $65 million in the past 12 months, which surpasses the earnings of even more well known musicians such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé and that he hasn't earned less than $48 million a year over the past 5 years.
Keith has written at least one #1 country single over the past 20 years and the partnership between his own label, Show Dog-Universal, and Big Machine Records, which Keith also helped found in 2005.Political beliefsSince 2002, Keith has made numerous trips to the Middle East to bring entertainment and encouragement to US men and women serving on or near the front lines.
“My father was a soldier.
He taught his kids to respect veterans,” said Keith.
“It’s that respect and the thank-you that we have a military that’s in place and ready to defend our nation; our freedom.”In 2004, Keith called himself "a conservative Democrat who is sometimes embarrassed for his party".
He endorsed the re-election of President George W.
Bush in the 2004 presidential election and performed at a Dallas, Texas, rally on the night before the election.
Keith also endorsed Democrat Dan Boren in his successful run in Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district and is good friends with former Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
In a January 2007 interview with Newsday, Keith was asked whether he supported the Iraq War.
He responded with "Never did," and said he favors setting a time limit on the campaign.
He also said, "I don't apologize for being patriotic...
If there is something socially incorrect about being patriotic and supporting your troops, then they can kiss my ass on that, because I'm not going to budge on that at all.
And that has nothing to do with politics.
Politics is what's killing America."In April 2008, Keith said that Barack Obama "looks like a great speaker and a great leader.
And I think you can learn on your feet in there, so I don't hold people responsible for not having a whole bunch of political background in the House and Senate." At the same time he remarked, "I think [John\] McCain is a great option too." In August 2008, he called Obama "the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton".In October 2008, Keith told CMT that he had left the Democratic Party and has re-registered as an independent.
"My party that I've been affiliated with all these years doesn't stand for anything that I stand for anymore," he says.
"They've lost any sensibility that they had, and they've allowed all the kooks in.
So I'm going independent." He also told CMT that he would likely vote for the Republican ticket, partially because of his admiration for Sarah Palin.In March 2009, Keith received the Johnny "Mike" Spann Memorial Semper Fidelis Award during a New York ceremony held by the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.
The trophy is named for the CIA operative (and former Marine Corps captain) who was the first U.S.
casualty in the war in Afghanistan.
"Spending time with our soldiers around the world is something I've always regarded as a privilege and honor," he said.
"I'm certainly happy to accept this award, but I won't forget for a second who's really doing the heavy lifting to keep this country safe.
And that's why I'll keep going back and spending time with those good folks every chance I get."In April 2009, he voiced support for Obama on Afghanistan and other decisions: "He hired one of my best friends who I think should run for president someday...Gen.
James Jones as a national security adviser.
He's sending troops into Afghanistan, help is on the way there.
And I'm seeing some really good middle range stuff.
I'm giving our commander in chief a chance before I start grabbing.
So far, I'm cool with it."Courtesy of the Red, White and BlueOn March 24, 2001, Keith’s father, H.K.
Covel, was killed in a car accident.
That event and the September 11 attacks in 2001 prompted Keith to write the song "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue", a song about his father’s patriotism and faith in the United States.
At first, Keith refused to record the song and sang it only live at his concerts for military personnel.
The reaction to the song, the lyrics of which express clear nationalistic and militaristic sentiments, was strong in many quarters, even to the point that the Commandant of the Marine Corps James L.
Jones told Keith it was his "duty as an American citizen" to record the song.
As the lead single from the album Unleashed (2002), "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue" peaked at number one over the Fourth of July weekend.ABC invited Keith to sing "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue" on a 2002 Fourth of July concert it was producing, then rescinded the invitation after host Peter Jennings heard the song and vetoed it.
Jennings said the song "probably wouldn’t set the right tone".
"I find it interesting that he's not from the U.S.", Keith said of Jennings, who was Canadian.
"I bet Dan Rather'd let me do it on his special."Feud with the Dixie ChicksKeith had a public feud with the Dixie Chicks over the song "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue", in 2003 as well as over comments they made about President George W.
Bush on stage during a concert in London.
The lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines, publicly stated that Keith's song was "ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant".
Keith responded by pointing out that Maines did not write her music and he does, and by displaying a backdrop at his concerts showing a doctored photo of Maines with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
On May 21, 2003, Maines wore a T-shirt with the letters "FUTK" on the front at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
While a spokesperson for the Dixie Chicks said that the acronym stood for "Friends United in Truth and Kindness," many, including host Vince Gill, took it to be a shot at Keith ("Fuck You Toby Keith").
In an October 2004 appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, Maines finally confessed that it was indeed a shot at Keith, and that she "thought that nobody would get it".In August 2003, Keith's representation publicly declared he was done feuding with Maines "because he's realized there are far more important things to concentrate on".
Keith was referring specifically to the terminal illness of a former bandmate's daughter, Allison Faith Webb.
However, he continues to refuse to say Maines' name, and claims that the doctored photo was intended to express his opinion that Maines' criticism was an attempt to squelch Keith's free speech.In April 2008, a commercial spot to promote Al Gore's "We Campaign", involving both Keith and the Dixie Chicks, was proposed.
However, the idea was eventually abandoned due to scheduling conflicts.Personal life and triviaKeith has an honorary degree from Villanova University, which he attended from 1979-1980.
He planned to be a petroleum engineer.An avid University of Oklahoma sports fan, Keith is often seen at Oklahoma Sooners games and practices.
He is also a fan of professional wrestling, being seen in the front row of numerous WWE shows that take place in Oklahoma, as well as performing "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)" live at the first ever TNA Wrestling show on June 19, 2002.
He is also a Free Will Baptist.On March 24, 1984, Keith married Tricia Lucus.
He is the father of three children—two daughters, Shelley Covel Rowland (born 1980, adopted by Keith in 1984) and Krystal "Krystal Keith" LaDawn Covel Sandubrae (born September 30, 1985; signed a contract with Show Dog-Universal in 2013.), and one son (Stelen Keith Covel, born 1997).
He also has one granddaughter (born 2008; mother is Shelley) and one grandson (born 2010; mother is also Shelley).On March 24, 2001 (incidentally, Keith's 17th wedding anniversary), Keith's father was killed in a car accident on Interstate 35.
On December 25, 2007, the Covel family was awarded $2.8 million for the wrongful death of H.K.
Elias and Pedro Rodriguez, operators of Rodriguez Transportes of Tulsa, and the Republic Western Insurance Co.
were found liable as they failed to properly equip the charter bus with properly working air brakes.PhilanthropyKeith recently filmed a PSA for Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged U.S.
Through his encouragement for music education, giving the gift of music is possible in children’s lives.ToursBrooks & Dunn's Neon Circus & Wild West Show 2001Unleashed Tour 2002with Jamie O'Neal, Emerson Drive and Rascal Flatts (Select Dates)USO 2002–2013 (11 tours, visiting 15 countries and 3 naval ships)Shock'N Y'all Tour 2003with Blake SheltonBig Throwdown Tour 2004with Lonestar and Gretchen WilsonBig Throwdown Tour II 2005with Jo Dee MessinaWhite Trash With Money Tour 2006Hookin' Up & Hangin' Out Tour 2007with Miranda Lambert, Trace Adkins, Josh GracinBig Dog Daddy Tour 2007Biggest & Baddest Tour 2008-2009with Montgomery Gentry and Trailer ChoirAmerica's Toughest Tour 2009with Trace Adkins Also Julianne Hough(Few Dates)Toby Keith's American Ride Tour 2010with Trace Adkins & James OttoLocked & Loaded Tour 2011with Eric Church & JT HodgesLive in Overdrive Tourwith Brantley GilbertHammer Down Tour 2013with Kip MooreHammer Down Under Tour 2014With Kellie Pickler & Eli Young Band
Hope On The Rocks
How Do You Like Me Now
Every Dog Has Its Day
As Good As I Once Was
A Little Too Late
Red Solo Cup
You Ain't Much Fun
Who's Your Daddy?
Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue