Toby Keith Coval was born in Clinton, Oklahoma on July 8,1961. Keith's love of music started early. He spent a lot of time at his grandmother's supper club surrounded by musicians.
Though he played music and even was in bands, he had a few other careers before his music took off. He would spend a year at Villanova University, studying petroleum engineering before dropping out in 1980.
He spent time working in the oil fields. When the industry took a downward turn, he took a job as a defensive player in the USFL (semi-pro football league). While maintaining his day jobs, Toby continued to hone his musical craft.
Toby Hits It Big In The Country Music Capital
In the 1980s, his band, Easy Money, played the bar circuit around Oklahoma and Texas. As the band grew a following, Keith decided to make the move to Nashville. After a few years of hard work, but little success, he was on the verge of giving up. But then, a record producer heard his demo and signed him to Mercury records.
That first contract paid him $20 thousand. His debut album, Toby Keith, produced 4 top ten hits on the country charts. It sold over 1 million copies and was certified platinum. During this time, Toby was earning $5 to $10 thousand per concert.
On His Way: Toby Keith Net Worth
After the success of his first album, Toby was in demand by fans and producers alike. Over the next several years, he wrote and recorded several albums that would only further his success, popularity, and net worth. His disocraphy is prolific including:
- Boomtown (1994)
- Blue Moon (1996)
- Dream Walkin' (1997)
- How Do You Like Me Now (1999)
- Pull My Chain (2001)
- Unleashed (2001)
- Shock n Y'all (2003)
- Honkeytonk University (2005)
- White Trash With Money (2006)
- Big Dog Daddy (2007)
- That Dont Make Me The Bad Guy (2008)
- American Ride (2009)
- Bullets In The Gun (2910)
- Clancy's Tavern (2011)
- Hope On The Rocks (2012)
- Drinks After Work (2913)
- 35 MPH Town (2015)
- Peso In My Pocket (2021)
Over the course of his career, Toby Keith sold over 40 million albums. With 61 singles landing on the country's billboard charts, 20 of those hitting number one.
One song that was especially popular with fans, particularly those in the military, was, "Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue". Keith sat down to write this modern anthem after suffering two tragic events.
The first was the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001. Like all other Americans, Toby was shocked and devastated by the attack on the United States and the horrible deaths of so many.
The second was the death of his father in a car accident. His father, a military veteran, lost an eye in combat, but never wavered in his respect for the armed forces. He instilled the same in Toby. The song remains one of his most popular ever.
Another song, "Should've Been A Cowboy", was the most played country song of the 1990s. Let's not forget the classic, Red Solo Cup.
Business Ventures: Music And Beyond
By the early 2000s, Toby Keith was now a mega star in the realm of country music. With numerous hit albums and sold out concerts around the country, he decided to branch out. In 2004, he invested a large amount of money into Big Machine Records, whose roster included acts like Rascal Flats and Taylor Swift. Soon after, he started his own record label, Show Dog Universal.
One of Toby's many business ventures included opening a chain of fun restaurants inspired by his song, "I Love This Bar". The eateries were called I Love This Bar And Grill. In keeping with his blue collar roots, the bar and grill chain features seating made from pick-up truck tailgates, PBR all day long, and fried bologna sandwiches. Don't worry, they also serve burgers, steak, and pork chops.
In 2011, Toby entered the world of liquor with his Wild Shot Mezcal. It's one of the few brands that still include the worm. Toby said it was important to him to include the worm as it's not only traditional, but an experience all on its own when ingested. The average price for a bottle is $60.00.
In 2009, Keith introduced the TK Steelman clothing line. Fashioned after his own rugged, cowboy style, he produced short and long sleeved tees, polo shirts, jeans, hats, and belts.
Movies And Television
Over the years, Toby has done several commercials for Telecom USA (telephone service) and Ford trucks.
He also made several appearances on The Colbert Report and on various wrestling programs. He starred in the movies Broken Bridges and Beer For My Horses (which he also wrote).
Through the years, Toby Keith has garnered many awards, including:
- 2021- National Medal of Arts
- 2014 - Academy of Country Music - Career Achievement Award
- 2012 and 2005 - Country Music Awards - Video of the Year
- 2001 - Country Music Awards - Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2005 and 2002 - Billboard Music Award - Top Country Artist
- 2004 and 2003 - American Music Awards - Best Country Artist
Toby likes to concentrate his efforts on a few charities that are very dear to him. He feels he can do more good that way than spread himself thin with a whole list of charities that he can't do as much for.
Therefore, he is part of the USO, the organization that sends artists overseas to perform for our troops. He has made several public service announcements for the Little Kids Rock Foundation. An organization that supports music education in public schools.
He also founded his own charity, The Toby Keith Foundation for childhood cancer. In addition to many other events, the foundation holds a celebrity golf outing each year to raise money for his project, the OK Kids Korral, which is to be a 16 unit hotel for children undergoing cancer treatment and their families.
Toby married his wife Tricia in 1984. The couple have 3 children; Shelley, Krystal, and Stelen. They also have 4 grandchildren.
In June of 2022, the country music icon revealed that he'd been diagnosed with stomach cancer several months earlier. He stated that he was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation and had undergone surgery. Though he said it was a rough go for him and his family, he is on the mend and hopeful about being able to get back out and perform again.
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Written by Allen Lee
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