In a statement, Keith’s family wrote that he died peacefully and “fought his fight with grace and courage”. Keith was a country music star who had twenty #1 Billboard country hits and 42 top tens across his multi-decade career, including How Do You Like Me Now?!, Should've Been A Cowboy, As Good As I Once Was, My List and Beer for My Horses, a duet with Willie Nelson.
His impact went beyond music, with the singer survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and children Shelley, Krystel and Stelen. Toby and Tricia set up the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006 to help children and their families dealing with cancer. They left a charitable legacy to join his musical legacy as one of country music’s most revered figures.
A figure like Toby Keith would be respected, beloved, and inspirational to his peers and artists who came after him. The country music world is in mourning, with artists including Carrie Underwood, Jelly Roll, Zach Bryan, Blake Shelton and many more leaving tributes for Keith.
The post about Keith’s passing comment section alone is packed with stars honouring Keith and wishing his family well, including Randy Houser (“God Bless you and Family. Hard to imagine an America without Toby Keith in it.”), Chad Prather (“Rest in peace, TK. You will always be larger than life. You’ve left us all a powerful legacy.”), Lady A (“A true country inspiration to us. Rest easy, Toby.”) and Jamie O’Neal (“I’ll never forget how generous and kind he was to me. I loved working with him and watching how amazing he was on and off stage. Love you Toby ”).
Sharing photos of herself alongside Keith, Carrie Underwood wrote on Instagram, “Saddle up the horses, Jesus, ‘cause a true blue COWBOY just made his ride up to heaven!!! Introduce him to all the Okies and sign that boy up for the choir!
“We’re gonna miss you, Toby, but my heart has no doubt that you are standing in the presence of our King right now!! See you again someday, friend.”
Zach Bryan wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “too many rides in my old man’s car listening to Toby Keith. really hard thing to hear rest in peace friend we love you”.
Kyle Young, the CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, added, “Toby Keith was big, brash, and never bowed down or slowed down for anyone. He relished being an outsider and doing things his way. For three decades, he reflected the defiant strength of the country music audience. His memory will continue to stand tall.”
Lee Ann Womack wrote, “Very low this morning. @tobykeith is treasured in this family and will certainly be missed. I know he was a believer and is with the Almighty. Much love to his family. You’re in our prayers.”
Blake Shelton said he “never imagined this day”, writing: “Even though I knew about your battle these last few months I still never imagined this day. Anyone who knew you knows what I mean. You were the toughest man I ever met. Thank you brother for being a friend, a hero and an inspiration. There will never be another Toby Keith.”
Luke Bryan kept his tribute short, writing on social media that Keith was “An iconic artist and a great man”, while Tim McGraw reminisced on the pair releasing their debut albums on the same day in 1993.
McGraw wrote, “Toby and I spent a lot of time together early in our careers.....We had a lot of good times and conversations about what we wanted out of our careers and our lives. He was a maverick. He did things his way, on his terms, a true artist. I always have and always will have tremendous respect for his artistry, dedication and fearlessness to do his thing. We all will miss you, brother.”
Kid Rock dubbed Keith an “American Badass”, while Jelly Roll wrote on his Instagram Stories: “We covered ‘Should’ve Been A Cowboy’ at every show last year – Toby inspired millions and I was one of them RIP”.
Dolly Parton called Keith “one of the greats”, writing on Instagram: “It’s always hard when we lose our brothers and sisters in country music. Toby Keith was one of the greats in every way. He will be missed but his music and legacy will live on.”