Jason Aldean Pays Tribute to Toby Keith With Emotional ACM Performance

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Toby Keith was honored during the 59th Annual ACM Awards

The 2024 ACM Awards proved to be a momentous night, with a stellar lineup of performances and some of the best and brightest artists in country music taking home trophies. For an event designed to celebrate significant milestones in country music over the last year, it was only fitting that they include a tribute to the late great Toby Keith, who passed away tragically in February.

Jason Aldean was originally announced during the first round of performers slated for the ACM Awards, and just two days ago, it was confirmed that he would be performing a Toby Keith classic in memory of the icon. He revealed some details to radio host and red-carpet correspondent Katie Neal as he prepared to take the ACM stage. Listen to their conversation in the video below! 


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Jason Aldean remembers Toby Keith

Jason Aldean knew Toby Keith personally and like many artists, shared heartfelt words after news broke of his death. He shared a series of photos from a performance they shared and wrote:

“Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing. Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans. Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man.”


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Jason Aldean performs “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” at the 2024 ACM Awards

For one of the night’s most anticipated performances, Jason Aldean delivered a stripped-down, acoustic version of Toby Keith’s biggest hit, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy.”  Iconic images of Toby were displayed above the stage, and audience members could be seen wiping tears from their eyes.

As the song progressed, Aldean was joined by a string quartet, creating a beautifully emotional moment. Toby’s wife and children were in attendance and were able to witness the heartfelt tribute to his legacy.

Watch Jason Aldean’s touching performance of “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” at the ACM Awards below! 


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