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As the world mourns the passing of Country music legend Toby Keith, we remember him not only for his outstanding music but also for his deep love for America. Throughout his three-decade career, Keith consistently voiced his patriotism. Across 19 albums, he repeatedly delved into themes of American life and his respect for people serving in the military. Coming from a military family himself, Keith grabbed every opportunity to express his gratitude to the soldiers fighting for freedom. With a lifetime full of examples of his patriotism, here are five standout moments from Toby Keith:
Toby Keith’s track “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” is now a classic in America. Keith wrote and released the song in response to the 9/11 tragedy and the passing of his military veteran father in the same year. The song quickly climbed the charts as the lead single from his 2002 album, Unleashed, marking its place as one of Keith’s most iconic hits to date.
Since 2002, Toby Keith has brought a piece of home to hundreds of thousands of troops by performing in 17 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on several ships at sea. Keith dedicated his time to embark on 11 USO tours, entertaining and uplifting U.S. troops serving overseas with his music.
In 2017, Toby Keith was revealed as part of the lineup for Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration. During the event, Keith delivered a performance of “American Soldier,” a song he had wrote in 2003 to show his admiration for troops and their families.
During a concert in Houston, Texas in 2012, Toby Keith paused his performance to ask the crowd a question that would change a stranger’s life.
“Anyone here got a soldier or Marine serving overseas tonight?”
After he asked, a women raised her hand and was invited on stage. Little did she know, as Keith sang “American Soldier,” her husband who was serving in Afghanistan walked out, surprising her.
“Never apologize for being patriotic. F*ck em.”
– Toby Keith, in his first show back after battling stomach cancer.
🎥TikTok: CountryMusicAmerica pic.twitter.com/efgWiwLcWc
— Louder with Crowder Dot Com (@LWCnewswire) February 6, 2024
After a nearly two-year absence due to his diagnosis, Toby Keith made a return to the stage with a surprise performance at Hollywood Corners, a bar in Oklahoma. During his set, he belted out his classic hit “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and, in Toby Keith fashion, he closed the show by passionately saying “Never apologize for being patriotic. F*** ’em.”
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Toby Keith’s legacy as one of County Music’s most iconic performers and America’s patriot is undeniable. Toby Keith will forever be remembered as a true American icon, his music serving as a timeless tribute to the values that define the land of the free and the home of the brave.