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Emmy Award-winning journalist Rebecca Marsh sat down with him for a two-part interview titled ONE-ON-ONE WITH TOBY KEITH. It aired on January 24 and 25 on Oklahoma’s News 9 and News 6.
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Keith passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on February 5, making his interview with Marsh the last he ever gave.
RELATED: Watch Toby Keith’s Final Interview
Marsh appeared on News6 the morning his passing was announced by his family to talk about her interview with him.
She began by revealing how she even got the interview.
“I saw Toby on a livestream on Twitter one night,” she explained. “And I told my friend Ed Murray that worked in Oklahoma City, I said, ‘Hey, will you give Toby my number, I’d love to interview him about the journey he’s gone through. He’s had stomach cancer, he was very open about it.'”
Murray gave the country icon Marsh’s number and told her that Keith put the paper in his pocket. A couple days later, her phone rang and it was Toby Keith.
Marsh talked about the impact Keith had on not only country music genre, but the world. She said, “I think Toby Keith is giving us all a lesson about how to live. I think Toby Keith was at peace with whatever happened. None of us are guaranteed how many days here on this Earth, but he showed us how to live.”
When speaking about his last shows, she said, “His health [had] not been good. He was very thin. We went to the concert and he acted like it was his first concert he’d ever given. He was so full of life, so full of his music, and at first I thought Toby was doing it for him, but after experiencing that concert in Las Vegas and after really reflecting my interview with him, I think he did all of this so unselfishly, and did it for the fans who love his music, did it for the fans who love how he stands for America and our country, and did it for all of those who don’t have a voice in fighting a battle with cancer.”
Marsh brought up his longtime work with the Toby Keith Foundation and the OK Kids Corral, which Keith supported for many years. The OK Kids Corral was a “home-away-from-home” for kids battling cancer and their families.
Sadly, in the last few years of his life, he related to the children he spent so many years helping.
“He [knew] the struggle himself what radiation, chemo, and surgery entails. I think it makes his legacy about helping families with children going through cancer even more imperative today.”
She pointed out the impact Keith had, especially when it came to the OK Kids Corral. In one fundraising night in Oklahoma City, he raised over two million dollars for the foundation.
While he had so many accolades to his name including 20 number one hits, 42 total Top Ten hits, six ACM Awards, three CMA Awards, Marsh says when speaking to him, “none of that mattered.”
His faith stood out to her.
In the interview, she recalls asking him, “Have you experienced a peace that passes all understanding?”
He responded, “I just got to a point where I was comfortable with whatever happened. I had my brain wrapped around it and I was in a good spot either way. People without faith don’t have that.”
Marsh finished by saying, “It was a blessing for me to be the one to have a final moment for a television interview with country music icon Toby Keith. To the very end, he lived life to the fullest.”
Watch her reflect on her interview with Toby Keith below.