ROUNDUP: Artists Who Have Paid Tribute To Toby Keith

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On February 5, 2024, the world of country music mourned the loss of the iconic singer Toby Keith, who tragically passed away due to a lengthy battle with stomach cancer at the age of 62. In the wake of his passing, fellow country stars have come together to honor their colleague and friend. As we remember the legacy that Toby Keith left behind, let’s take a moment to see a compilation of just a few artists who have paid tribute to Toby Keith.

Luke Combs

Hours after receiving the news of Keith’s passing, Combs took the stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville back in February. The concert, originally planned as a private event for winners of his “Living Lucky with Luke Combs” lottery partnership spanning 15 U.S. states, became a heartfelt moment of remembrance. Combs, in tribute to Keith, performed “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” the very song that marked Keith’s debut single on February 12, 1993.

@lukecombsPlayed the Ryman in Nashville this week so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to honor a true icon. Thank you for everything, Toby. We’ll miss you.♬ original sound – Luke Combs

Post Malone

During his set at Texas’s American Rodeo on Saturday, March 9, Post Malone took a pause to honor music icon Toby Keith. In the middle of his performance, Post Malone surprised everyone with a tribute to the late country legend with a version of Keith’s popular song “As Good as I Once Was.” Halfway through his performance, Post Malone paused, raised a red solo cup on stage, and poured out a small amount of the drink in a symbolic gesture honoring Keith. Without missing a beat, he seamlessly resumed and concluded the song.

@yoohoopugs @Post Malone did a Toby Keith tribute tonight at the American Rodeo in Dallas 🫶🏼 . #theamericanrodeo #dallastx #postmone #tobykeith ♬ original sound – Beffers

Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll’s recent gig at the Houston Rodeo was a major milestone for the country artist. With a massive crowd of 74,000 attendees, it was his biggest show yet.

But, in the middle of the excitement, Jelly Roll made time to pause and honor Toby Keith, who had graced the same stage nine times before. Addressing the audience, he expressed, “I could only think of one person when I pulled up to NRG tonight. And it made me think of one of the greatest cowboys that ever lived, and I said, ‘We’re gonna honor him.’”

The crowd cheered as Jelly Roll covered Keith’s timeless hit “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”

Zach Bryan

During his pre-Super Bowl performance in Las Vegas, Zach Bryan paid tribute to the late Toby Keith with a rendition of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”

Reflecting on Keith’s 2002 hit, Bryan tweeted after his concert, “Just one of the best songs ever made. Meant quite a bit to sing my songs and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue with all of ya.”

Following the news of Keith’s passing, Bryan took to social media to express his sorrow, writing, “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.”

@zachbryanarchive Zach Bryan paid tribute to Toby Keith last night in Vegas. 🙏🏽 #ZachBryan (via @Mariah ♬ original sound – Zach Bryan Archive

 Cledus T. Judd

Cledus T. Judd honored Toby Keith with a heartfelt tribute in the form of a song titled “Gonna Miss You Old Friend.” The accompanying video features cherished photos of Cledus and Toby throughout the years, showcasing the friendship they shared.

In a touching message, Cledus wrote, “My tribute to Toby. I hope it touches you the way Toby touched all of us. Just my way of saying thank you for all good times back in the day.”

YouTube video

Tim McGraw

During a concert held just days after Toby Keith’s passing, Tim McGraw, a longtime friend of Keith, took a moment to dedicate a performance to him. McGraw chose to sing Keith’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.”

“Toby and I got to know each other pretty well early in our career. We spent a lot of time hanging out on the bus. Played some shows together…” McGraw began. “He was a really, really, really good guy. A great artist, and I always respected how he did things his way and didn’t care what anybody thought.”

“So, bear with me if I don’t get through it. You guys help me out,” he told the crowd. “But I want to dedicate this song to Toby and his family.”


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A post shared by Tim McGraw (@thetimmcgraw)

Riley Green & Tracy Lawerance

Riley Green and Tracy Lawrence honored Keith by performing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” during Green’s Ain’t My Last Rodeo tour. Alongside their live performance, a screen behind Green displayed a video montage of Keith embracing his cowboy lifestyle.

@mallory87_Great tribute from Riley Green,Tracy Lawrence to Toby Keith♬ original sound – Mallory Patterson

Dan + Shay

Dan + Shay delivered an emotional rendition of Toby Keith’s “She Never Cried In Front Of Me” as a tribute to the legendary musician. Sharing the performance on their Instagram, the duo captioned the video: “We used to cover this song back in the early days. RIP to one of the greatest country music songwriters of all time. You’ll be missed.”


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A post shared by Dan + Shay (@danandshay)

Darius Rucker

A few days following Toby Keith’s passing, Darius Rucker took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and performed a touching rendition of Toby Keith’s ‘God Love Her’ as a heartfelt tribute to the late country music icon.

@whiskeyriff Darius Rucker covering Toby Keith. // #tobykeith #dariusrucker #opry #grandoleopry #nashville #countrymusic ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

Justin Moore

In an Instagram post, Justin Moore shared a studio version of himself singing Toby Keith’s classic “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Alongside the audio, Moore expressed his deep respect for Keith.

“My admiration for Toby goes well beyond music,” Moore wrote. “His willingness to do things “his way” was a huge inspiration for me. From living in his home state, to always telling it like it is in an industry that doesn’t always welcome it, he gave me the courage (from afar) to do so myself. Every chance we had to play a show with him, I always cherished. Country music lost a Giant. Ride em’ easy Big Dog Daddy.”


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A post shared by Justin Moore (@justincolemoore)

To view more artists who paid their respects to the late Toby Keith, click here.



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