The Time I Randomly Met Toby Keith in NYC
Earlier today we learned of the passing of Toby Keith.
Toby Keith Passes Away After Battle with Stomach Cancer
The Country Music icon passed away at the age of 62 after a battle with stomach cancer. On Instagram Toby's team released the following statement:
Toby Keith passed peacefully last night February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect his family's privacy at this time.
In 2022 we learned Toby was undergoing chemo for a stomach cancer diagnosis. After taking a step away from the spotlight, Toby Keith shared in June of 2023 that the tumor in his stomach was shrinking. In an interview with Taste of Country in November 2023 Toby said:
I'm not gonna let this define the rest of my life. If I live to be 100 or I don't, I'm going to go forward.
He shared that he was looking forward to the possibility of touring in the future. And he did just that with 3 sold-out shows in Las Vegas in December 2023.
Country Music Icon, Toby Keith, Leaves Behind Amazing Memories for Fans
This morning we asked Wolf listeners to share their favorite Toby Keith memory and we were reminded of the many shows he played across the Hudson Valley. Shows at West Point for Veterans Day to Taste of Country at Hunter Mountain and several shows at Bethel Woods.
For me, my Toby Keith fandom started with a pretty cool moment in New York City.
That One time I Randomly Met Toby Keith in NYC
In 2010, before I ever worked in for The Wolf or Country Radio, my mom had won a pair of tickets to a Toby Keith listening party for his album Bullets in the Gun. It was just about to come out and he had released his song Trailerhood.
My mom and I traveled down to Tribeca in NYC and were shuffled into a small performing space. Toby took the stage and played all of his classics like Courtesy of The Red, White and Blue, How Do You Like Me Now, and Shoulda Been A Cowboy.
He wrapped up his set with Trailerhood and my mom and I were blown away by his performance and giddy as we made it back down to the streets of New York.
My mom being the super fan she is brought a copy of the latest issue of People Magazine with Toby on the cover with hopes that he would sign it. As we left the show, we figured our chances of seeing him were gone.
But then we saw a small group of people form around a side door. We looked at each other and figured we check it out. As soon as we stepped up, Toby Keith stepped out. All 6-foot-something of him walked out that door with a big cowboy hat in the middle of NYC. It was awesome.
We were able to ask Toby if he would sign the magazine and he replied "Sure, darlin'." And for a split second, I thought my mom was going to leave my dad for Toby Keith.
RIP Toby Keith, thanks for the music and the memories!
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