R.I.P. Toby Keith

I woke up this morning with mixed emotions. I was sad to read that one of the most iconic voices from my teenage years, Toby Keith had passed away. I was surprised and didn't expect it so soon as it seemed Toby was doing better and was starting to make appearances again. I was also, in away, relieved that he isn't suffering and in anymore pain. 

Like everyone else, I first heard Toby Keith on my grandparent's radio when visiting at their camp or in their home. Country radio has always been a big part of my life, thanks to my grandparents. Toby Keith was part of that soundtrack. That powerful voice of his was instantly recognizable and like all great singers and musicians his music hooked you in and I started humming along.

In country radio, I'm blessed to meet these talented people from time to time. The three times I met Toby, he was pleasant and very friendly. He enjoyed meeting his fans. At one point, he had the largest meet & greet with approximately 400 people! We'd wait in line for sometimes over an hour. I want to say that Toby was my first "meet & greet" experience. I was even fortunate enough to share a drink with Toby (along with the rest of my staff & colleagues). It was awesome discussing music and horses(He did invest in race horses too) with with someone of Toby's stature.

It was an honor to meet such an incredible star & human being. He will be missed! Our thoughts, love, strength and prayers go out to Toby Keith's family!

R.I.P. Toby Keith 1961-2024

Photo taken by Jean Williams from Chris O'Neil's image archives

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