Toby Keith

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Like most musicians, Toby Keith Covel picked up a guitar at an early age - he began playing at eight years old. After graduating from high school in 1979, Toby landed a job as a roughneck in the lucrative Oklahoma oil fields, eventually getting promoted to a managerial position. In his free time, Toby played gigs at local bars with his Easy Money Band, but his shows were often interrupted or cancelled as he was constantly being called back into work.

In 1982, the Oklahoma oil industry fell on hard times and Toby lost his job to layoffs. A former high-school football star, he played defensive end with the semi-professional Oklahoma City Drillers (a farm team for the now defunct United States Football League) for two years until giving up on football and deciding to get back into music. His Easy Money band enjoyed some regional success in Oklahoma, but the band fell apart by the end of the 1980�s.

No stranger to failure, Keith responded by moving to Nashville in 1993, hoping to make a name for himself in the country music capital of America. He busked and bartended on the local honkey-tonk scene, and gave his demo tape to all the record companies in Nashville. Though none showed interest, an executive for Mercury Records on a transatlantic flight was given a copy of Toby�s demo by a friendly flight attendant. The executive flew back to Nashville and signed him to a recording contract on the spot.

Keith�s first self titled album reached #17 on the Billboard Top Country Albums index and went platinum, thanks to the national success of singles like Should�ve Been a Cowboy and A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action. Since that initial success, Toby has released 15 more albums to date - selling over 22 million copies combined - and has firmly established himself as one of the most prolific country artists of his generation, sharing the stage with country superstars like Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, and Mica Roberts.

Though he has switched labels multiple times during his career (he is now signed to Show Dog Nashville, his own imprint distributed by Universal Music Group), Toby�s sound has never changed. Enthusiastic and patriotic, Toby�s booming voice carries above twangy southern rock melodies and barroom drumming in songs that are unabashedly American. Some of his greatest hits include Beer For My Horses featuring country legend Willie Nelson, a song about small-town police pursuing a murderer, and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue, a patriotic song that Toby reserved for live shows but recorded upon request of Commandant of the Marine Corps James L. Jones. Toby released his latest album Big Dog Daddy in mid-2007, and is currently working on a movie script inspired by Beer For My Horses in which we will play a starring role.

From Discogs:

American country singer and guitarist born July 8, 1961, Clinton, Oklahoma

From Lastfm:

Toby Keith Covel (born July 8, 1961) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Early life and career Toby Keith Covel was born in Clinton, Oklahoma, United States. His family moved to Moore, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City) when Keith was young. His grandmother owned a supper club and Keith became interested in the musicians who came there to play. He got his first guitar at the age of 8. Keith attended Moore High School where he played on the football team.

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From Wikipedia:

Toby Keith Covel (born July 8, 1961), best known as Toby Keith, is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. Keith released his first four studio albums-1993's Toby Keith, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon and 1997's Dream Walkin', plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving Mercury in 1998. These albums all earned gold or higher certification, and produced several chart singles, including his debut "Should've Been a Cowboy", which topped the country charts and was the most played country song of the 1990s. The song has received three million spins since its release, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated.

Signed to Nashville DreamWorks in 1998, Keith released his breakthrough single "How Do You Like Me Now?!" that year. This song, the title track to his 1999 album of the same name, was the Number One country song of 2000, and one of several chart-toppers during his tenure on DreamWorks Nashville. His next three albums, Pull My Chain, Unleashed, and Shock'n Y'all, produced three more Number Ones each, and all of the albums were certified multi-platinum. A second Greatest Hits package followed in 2004, and after that, he released Honkytonk University.

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