Toby Keith’s family cries during special ACM Awards tribute
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Toby Keith’s family cries during special ACM Awards tribute

Yesterday, country music’s top names gathered in Frisco, Texas for the 59th Annual ACM Awards. Reba McEntire hosted the event, which showcased performances by Chris Stapleton, Lainey Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, and many others. McEntire even debuted a new song during the show!

While the announcement of performers was revealed a while ago, we didn’t know what anyone was performing until just days before the ceremony! We found out McEntire will be performing her brand-new song “I Can’t,” while Jelly Roll will also be debuting a new track!

On May 14, The ACMs Announced That Jason Aldean’s Performance At The Show Will Be A Tribute To The Late Toby Keith.

Jason And Toby Were Close, Especially In The Last Few Months Of The “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” Singer’s Life.

In October, just four months before Toby passed away, Jason brought his good buddy on stage at a concert in Oklahoma City. He told the crowd, “There’s only one guy you think of when you come to Oklahoma City. So make some noise for….Toby Keith!”

They performed “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” and Toby sounded great. It’s hard to believe he passed away less than four months later.

After Toby’s family announced his passing, Jason took social media and posted two photos from that October night. He wrote, “Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing. Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans. Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man.”


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A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean)

It Made Perfect Sense That Jason Performed “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” At The ACM Awards As A Tribute To Toby, Whose Real Last Name Is Covel, Since That Was The Last Song They Sang Together.

Toby’s family – his wife Tricia, daughter Shelley, daughter Krystal, and son Stelen – were in attendance and could be seen wiping tears away during and after the tribute. Aldean slowed down the song way down and was accompanied by a string quartet, making it so much more emotional. Photos of Keith throughout his career were shown on the screens behind Aldean.

Shelley, Krystal, and Stelen made their first joint public appearance since their dad’s death at the CMT Music Awards in April, but the ACM Awards is the first time their mom has joined them publicly.

Following the ACM Awards, the family put out a statement on Toby’s social media channels that read, “The Covel family would like to thank Jason Aldean for the wonderfully touching performance at the ACM Awards tonight. It was the perfect tribute to Toby Keith.”


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A post shared by Toby Keith (@tobykeith)

Watch Jason’s tribute below.

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