Singer Toby Keith, passionate military supporter, dead at 62

Tessa Robinson
Feb 6, 2024 12:07 PM PST
2 minute read
Toby Keith performs the guitar and singing in front of troops

Toby Keith performs for the troops at Camp Victory, Iraq, May 17, 2005. Part of Keith USO concert was broadcast on the 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards show in the United States.

SUMMARY

“When liberty’s in jeopardy, I will always do what’s right… I’m out here on the front lines, so sleep in peace tonight.” – Lyrics from Toby Keith’s American Soldier

Toby Keith might not have been "as good as he was once was," but he was a fervent supporter of the military right until the end. Keith "passed away peacefully" from stomach cancer on Monday, according to his family. "He fought his fight with grace and courage," a press release on his website stated. Keith went on 11 USO tours, performing for service members overseas. Some of his biggest hits centered around his patriotism, including American Soldier and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.

Here's a look back on some of Keith's best military moments:

Toby Keith sings one of his 'bus songs' to a crowd of Soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Band of Brothers at Forward Operating Base Warhorse (Baqubah, Iraq) May 29, 2006. U.S. Army photo.
Crowd cheers for Toby Keith: Hundreds of U.S. Division-North service members and civilians cheer for country music star Toby Keith during Keith's "Locked and Loaded" tour at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, April 27, 2011. Currently on his ninth visit to Iraq, Keith performed a variety of his hits as well as military-themed songs during the USO-sponsored concert. U.S. Army photo.
Toby Keith visited Soldiers in the Multi-National Division-Baghdad headquarters at Camp Liberty, Iraq, during his "Big Dog Daddy Tour." Keith took time to thank Soldiers for their service before performing a concert at Victory Base, an adjacent camp to Liberty. His tour also includes stops in Germany and Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo.
Country singer Toby Keith stands in an air gunners hatch of a Stryker Brigade Combat Vehicle. Keith performs for Soldiers and civilians on Forward Operating base Marez, Mosul, Iraq, May 2006. U.S. Army photo.
Toby Keith rocks Forward Operating Base Sharana in a surprise concert at the 172nd Infantry Brigade headquarters, April 29. Named one of the top 10 most dangerous places by Maxim Magazine, FOB Sharana and the surrounding combat outposts, are the center of the fight against foreign insurgents trying to infiltrate into Afghanistan. Keith will perform additional concerts in Afghanistan over the following days. U.S. Army photo.
Toby Keith takes a moment to pose with service members in PAKTIKA PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN, 2012. U.S. Army photo.
Toby Keith completes his last USO tour with a concert for the troops on Camp Liberty Iraq, April 29, 2011. This is the ninth time Toby Keith has toured Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. U.S. Army photo.
Country music artist Toby Keith rocks out with members of “MEC” (“Minimum Essential Chords”) – a band that’s made a name for itself here by turning their love for music into a way to relieve deployment stress – as they perform “Takin’ care of Business.” Keith spent a few hours with the deputy commanding general for advising and training staff here during his United Service Organizations-sponsored “Locked And Loaded” tour. Baghdad, Iraq, 2011. U.S. Army photo.
Country music star Toby Keith, checks out his new "Balls of the Eagle" t-shirt that was presented to him by Lt. Col. John Dunleavy, commander of 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), at Logistical Supply Area Anaconda, Iraq, on April 28, 2008. Keith visited the 2-320th FAR to meet with Soldiers and take part in a re-enlistment at the battalion headquarters.
Retired Army 1st Lt. Ed Salau holds his prosthetic leg in the air and sings during a Toby Keith concert on Camp Liberty, April 25, 2011. The warriors participated in Operation Proper Exit IX, which assists wounded troops in getting the closure they need in the healing process. U.S. Army photo.
Country music entertainer Toby Keith performs an Easter USO concert aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf April 24, 2011. Leyte Gulf is conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Guerra)

American Soldier by Toby Keith:

I'm just trying to be a father
Raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother
Everything to everyone
Up and at 'em bright and early
I'm all business in my suit
Yeah, I'm dressed up for success
From my head down to my boots

I don't do it for the money
There's bills that I can't pay
I don't do it for the glory
I just do it anyway
Providing for our future's my responsibility
Yeah, I'm real good under pressure
Being all that I can be

And I can't call in sick on Mondays
When the weekends been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays
And sometimes all night long
You can bet that I stand ready
When the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady
Hey I'm true down to the core

And I will always do my duty
No matter what the price
I've counted up the cost
I know the sacrifice
Oh, and I don't want to die for you
But if dyin's asked of me
I'll bear that cross with honor
'Cause freedom don't come free

I'm an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When liberty's in jeopardy
I will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front lines
Sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I'm an American soldier

yeah, an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When liberty's in jeopardy
I will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front lines
So sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I'm an American

an American
an American soldier

KIRKUK, Iraq (May 28, 2006) -- Country music star, Toby Keith, reacts to the crowd of Soldiers and Airmen at Forward Operating Base Warrior today. Keith spent the Memorial Day holiday traveling across Iraq to entertain service members.

Sleep in peace tonight, Toby. Thanks for always being Mighty, and always having our back.

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