Toby Keith, the super patriot of country music, has passed away

He was 62 years old and had become a symbol of Americana after September 11. He performed at Trump's inauguration ceremony.

Toby Keith has passed away. He had revealed having stomach cancer in 2022 and had undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and at least one surgery. He had continued making music, performing for the last time in December, in Las Vegas. The family informs that “he fought with grace and courage” and that he passed away in Oklahoma “surrounded by family.” He was 62 years old.

Keith became immediately famous in the United States in the 90s thanks to the first single from his self-titled debut album, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” with its typical Western imagery. However, the decade of great success was the following one with albums reaching number one in the United States such as “Unleashed” (which contained the duet with Willie Nelson “Beer for My Horses”), “Shock’n Y’All” (the one with “I Love This Bar” and “American Soldier”), “Big Dog Daddy,” and “Bullets in the Gun,” released between 2002 and 2010.

He was a symbol of Americana. Known for his straightforward yet not uncultured style, unlike many colleagues who relied on other songwriters, he always wrote his own songs mostly alone and preferred to live in Oklahoma instead of moving to the capital of country music, Nashville. He was known for patriotic songs including “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” released after September 11, a true American anthem that unironically assured that the United States would “put a boot in your ass” of its enemies because “it’s the American way.”

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When the Dixie Chicks (now just Chicks) opposed the invasion of Iraq ordered by George W. Bush, a controversial move for a country group, Keith mocked them by showing a photoshopped image of one of them, Natalie Maines, with Saddam Hussein, something he later regretted.

Nevertheless, he claimed he had never been a Republican and was labeled as such because of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.” However, while other artists refused to do so, he performed at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony in 2017. The president awarded him the National Medal of Arts in 2020.

Keith has sold over 40 million records. More than 60 of his songs have entered the American country chart. “America has lost a damn hero,” Zach Bryan wrote on X.

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