Toby Keith honored at ACM Awards by Jason Aldean with emotional ‘Should’ve Been a Cowboy’ performance

Country legend Toby Keith was honored at the Academy of Country Music Awards Thursday night by friend and fellow country artist Jason Aldean in a performance of Keith’s "Should’ve Been a Cowboy" that brought the all-star crowd to tears.  Blake Shelton, who introduced Aldean before he went on stage, said he was "heartbroken" by Keith’s February death following a battle with stomach cancer at 62.  The country music star announced his diagnosis in June 2022. Shelton said he was "Heartbroken and honored to be standing here tonight to remember a man who became one of the biggest country music stars of all time, the late great Toby Keith." FANS, CELEBRITIES AND VETERANS REACT TO TOBY KEITH'S DEATH He continued, "Toby was a big star in every way. He sold more than 44 million albums, 33 number one hits, and 14 ACM awards, including entertainer of the year, but, in the end, the mark that Toby left was much more than just that. Toby was a loving husband to his beautiful wife Trisha. He was a proud father to his three kids." He added that everyone was "so honored and moved" to have Keith’s widow Trisha and their children in the audience.  "Toby was a great friend to me and he was a real straight shooter who was larger than life and he always would shoot you straight, right to the very end of his brave ride that ended way too soon." CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER Aldean, who told Fox News Digital Keith was "inspiring" to him, simply said, "Love you, Toby" at the end of his rendition of the 1993 hit that brought the emotional crowd to their feet.  "Toby, we’ll never forget you," host Reba McEntire added as she returned to the stage. "And I kind of feel like you’re here with us tonight anyway." Ahead of the show, Aldean told Fox News Digital: "I think he was a guy that a lot of us looked up to," in the business. LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS "For me personally, he was a guy that I feel like ... just always spoke his mind," he added. "He said what he thought, whether it was the popular opinion or not. And it wasn't, you know, it didn't always go well for him, and he didn't care. I mean, it was something that if he felt strongly about it and felt like it was something he believed in, he was going to speak his mind." "To me, from personal level, that was something to me that was always inspiring, as far as like, 'Hey, you can still be an artist and be true to who you are and go out and not be afraid to speak out.' And I think that was something that always kind of stood with me." The best advice Keith ever gave Aldean was "never apologize for being patriotic." TOBY KEITH REMEMBERED AS ‘EMBODIMENT OF THE AMERICAN SPIRIT’ BY SON "Just being not afraid to speak your mind, stand up for what you believe in," he explained. "Whether other people agree with it or not, be who you are and be unapologetic about it. And I think that's pretty good advice." Keith was known  best for "Should've Been a Cowboy." The tune became the most-played country song of the 1990s, as it was played on the radio 3 million times. Other top hits by the artist included "I Love This Bar," "As Good as I Once Was," "Beer for My Horses" and "How Do You Like Me Now?!" Throughout his career, Keith received seven Grammy nominations and was named entertainer of the year multiple times at the Academy of Country Music Awards. The country music star earned a total of 14 ACM Awards, including top male vocalist and album of the year. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Keith released his final album in 2021, "Peso in my Pocket." The singer continued to perform after being diagnosed with cancer and took the stage one last time in December. Fox News' Lauryn Overhultz and Larry Fink contributed to this report. 

Top News

© 2000- Artmotion Network   Terms of Use  Help  Advertise  Add News  Feedback Make donation