Toby Keith is one of the most memorable personalities in country music. That could be what first attracted his wife of over 30 years, Tricia Lucus Covel. The couple met young and defied all odds as one of the longest-lasting relationships in the music industry.
Toby Keith Covel had always loved music and even taught himself how to play the guitar. But after high school, he decided to be responsible and follow in his father's footsteps working in the oil fields of Oklahoma. Music took a back seat as a hobby, but Keith continued to perform with his band, Easy Money Band. It was during one of these performances at a local bar where he met Tricia Lucus, who was working as a secretary.
"I was 19, and he was 20," Tricia told People. "He was just one of those larger-than-life guys, full of confidence."
After three years of dating, the couple tied the knot in 1984. Around the same time, the oil industry was faltering, so Keith decided to pursue his music full time. People told Tricia for years that her husband needed to get a real job to support his family. But she continued to believe in his music career and maintained things on the homefront. Keith adopted Tricia's daughter Shelley (born in 1980), and the couple extended their family to include second daughter, Krystal (known as Krystal Keith). It wasn't easy, but good things come to those who wait.
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The singer-songwriter worked hard for years until he finally hit it big in Nashville 9 years later with "Should've Been a Cowboy." His number one debut hit was an incredibly impressive debut that allowed Keith's career to skyrocket to the top of the music scene.
Keith told People that the success he found from his debut album and beyond really pushed him.
"It just made me fight harder. You get too popular; people get tired of you being on top. I've never had that superstar status. So my candle hasn't burned out."
The couple welcomed another child, son Stelen Keith Covel in 1997, while Keith continued to release hit country songs through the '90s. Despite now having a net worth in the millions and releasing nearly 20 studio albums, the country star gets the most joy from his family.
Daughter Krystal is a country singer, and the Covel family has welcomed three grandchildren so far. If there's one thing to take away from Toby Keith's wife, Tricia Covel, it's to believe in your partner's dreams.
This article was originally published in December of 2019.