Remember When Carrie Underwood Sang “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” To Honor Toby Keith?

(Left) Marcus K. Dowling / Twitter / (Right) Toby Keith / YouTube

Carrie Underwood Honored Toby Keith When He Received The BMI Icon Award In 2022

Toby Keith was named as the 2022 recipient of the BMI Icon Award. In a statement before the ceremony, Clay Bradley, VP, Creative, Nashville, said:

We are honored to present Toby Keith with this year’s BMI Icon Award. Since the release of his single ‘Should’ve Been A Cowboy’ in 1993, Toby has been the gold standard of songwriting in the modern era of Country music. Toby is not only a stellar songwriter, musician, and producer whose songs have amassed millions of performances; he is also a true humanitarian. With 11 USO tours under his belt, he continues to commit to honoring and serving our troops worldwide. No one is more deserving of this honor.


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Keith received the honor during the BMI Country Awards ceremony on November 8, 2022. The BMI shared a photo of Keith with his trophy and said, “Congratulations to our #BMIIcon @tobykeith!”


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Keith, who is from Oklahoma, was honored during the ceremony by another Oklahoma native, Carrie Underwood. She performed his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” which was a #1 hit in 1993.

Marcus K. Dowling of The Tennessean posted a short video on social media of Underwood singing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” The video shows Underwood performing next to two guitar players onstage.

See The Emotional Tribute She Shared After His Death

Toby Keith was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2021. He took some time off from performing, but returned to the stage in late 2023.

Still, it came as a shock to many when news broke that Keith died on February 5 at the age of 62.

Carrie Underwood was one of the first artists to pay tribute to her friend and fellow “Okie.” She shared some powerful words, writing:

“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.”

Carrie Underwood posted this throwback photo with Toby Keith after learning about his death
Toby Keith / Facebook

We’re glad Carrie Underwood got the chance to honor Toby Keith at the 2022 BMI Country Awards before he passed away.

Head below to watch Underwood deliver her rendition of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” We know how much she loved Keith, and we’re sure she misses him terribly.

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