We lost a legend when Merle Haggard passed away on his birthday, April 6, at the age of 79. His memory has been honored in song by many country artists since. Now, the Grand Ole Opry has just released a performance by Toby Keith paying tribute to his late friend at the iconic Nashville venue.
Keith performed the tribute on May 20 live at the Opry, two months after Haggard’s passing. The country star sang a medley of Haggard hits, kicking things off with “Mama Tried” and ending with “Okie From Muskogee.”
Accompanied by his band, Keith gave a flawless and lively performance to honor his old pal and country idol.
Keith closes things out by raising his red solo cup in honor of Haggard at the end of the performance. He also sang a similar medley on May 1 at the American Country Countdown Awards. The singer was accompanied on guitar at the award show by Merle’s son, Ben Haggard.
Haggard and Keith were close friends and worked together numerous times. In fact, according to W Earl Brown, Keith stepped in to help the ill singer complete one of Haggard last shows in Vegas.
Toby Keith is currently touring through mid-October and promoting his brand new single, “A Few More Cowboys.”