Toby Keith died on Monday night. Toby Keith died at the age of 62. He leaves behind his wife Tricia and their three adult children. The legendary country star has been fighting stomach cancer since a few years ago, and it was a painful, long battle. It’s not something you would wish on a worst enemy.
Keith was a huge star in the early 1990s. He released sweet love songs such as “Huckleberry”, “Who’s That Man” and “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue”, patriotic barn burners after Sept. 11, “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue”, hilarious sing-a-longs like I Ain’t As Good As I Was” and Red Solo Cup, and country classics such as “I Love This Bar”. He was also a hugely influential producer and businessman behind the scenes. Oh, and he also discovered and launched a 15-year-old country star wannabe by the name of Taylor Swift.
Time reports that Keith was a key figure in Swift’s formative years. “He founded the singer’s Big Machine record label with Scott Borchetta. He left six months later, to concentrate on his label Show Dog Nashville.”
The two were once close friends, as revealed in a WSMV News 4 Nashville segment from 2005. Terry Bulger, a reporter, reported that “She came last year to Nashville, writing and singing her songs in hopes someone would like them.” Toby Keith liked them. He was so impressed that he signed her up for his brand-new record label. “That makes them partners.”
Watch Tay-Tay, a young girl, gush about Keith when he helps her climb.
Swift said at the time, “I don’t think I’ll ever reach a stage where I won’t be able to see him without thinking, ‘Oh my god, that’s Toby Keith.’” It seems that she is finally there. Swiftland has not responded to the second day after Toby Keith died.
Other music industry professionals have taken offense at the silence of the superstar.
— John Rich🇺🇸 (@johnrich) February 6, 2024
Swift’s silence was a mystery. What could have caused it? Others say that it’s because of her residual anger over losing control of her early catalog. Time reports that Swift had a public fallout with the record company Keith co-founded after Scott Borchetta sold it to Scooter Braun and transferred ownership of her six first albums to Braun.
Swift’s left-wing politics may have stripped her of humanity as so many other people have. Time suggests that Swift and Clinton may have had a history of bad blood.
Keith was best known for the song “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” which he wrote after 9/11. The song was used often to express support for the Iraq war.
Swift has, on the contrary, publicly expressed her support for several Democratic candidates and denounced Donald Trump.
Keith was also well-known for his vocal denunciation against The Chicks (previously called the Dixie Chicks), after Natalie Maines, one of the singers of the group, said to a crowd that she was ashamed by the actions of George W. Bush, then president, regarding the Iraq war.
Keith replied by photoshopping an image of Maines with Saddam Hussein and using that picture as the backdrop for his concerts.
Swift, while she did not specifically mention Keith, has cited Maines’ backlash as a pivotal event in her political awareness in her Netflix documentary Miss Americana, which will be released in 2020.
Swift stated that “During my entire career, label executives, and publishers, would tell me, ‘Don’t be like Dixie Chicks’.”
Taylor was still high when Toby died, after preening about the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday night. It was the last post she made on her official X page when she started promoting her new album. It seems that this is more important to her than acknowledging someone so beloved and pivotal to a career of her own.
Taylor, you are a poor example.