Blake Shelton On Toby Keith: ‘The Toughest Man I Ever Met’
Blake Shelton has posted to his Insta Stories about the death of his friend, country music star Toby Keith. Keith died at his home in Oklahoma surrounded by family last night (2/5) after a battle with stomach cancer.
Blake wrote on his Insta Stories in a solid black background, “Even though I knew about your battle these last few months, I still never imagined this day. Anyone who knew you knows what I mean.”
He continued, “You were the toughest man I ever met. Thank you, brother, for being a friend, a hero, and an inspiration. There will never be another Toby Keith.”
Luke Bryan also posted a photo of himself with Toby on his Instagram. He wrote, “Just arriving at American Idol and seeing the sad news in our country community. An iconic artist and a great man. Your songs turn every room into a good time.”
Shelton presented his fellow Oklahoman with the “Country Icon Award” at the September inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards.
Early in his career, almost 20 years ago (2004), Blake toured and opened shows for Toby Keith nationwide. At the time, he told me, “Toby is one of those guys that is so famous and so big, and he is one of those artists that’s just worldwide. You don’t have to be a country music fan to be a Toby Keith fan. It’s just way bigger than that. I step on stage with over 20 thousand people per night, and 15,000 of them may or may not have ever heard of me. Touring with Toby has probably been the biggest break I’ve had since I started doing this.”
He added of the tour at the time, “We had stupid fun on the Toby tour; there’s no limit when you’re on a tour like that. Nobody ever said no to anything which was new to me. We both had our own basketball teams and played basketball close to every day of the tour.”