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Toby Keith Through the Years: Look Back at His Life in Photos


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Toby Keith Covel, known professionally as Toby Keith, was born on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Oklahoma. Including his 1993 self-titled debut, Toby has released 19 studio albums, two Christmas albums and five compilation albums as of July 2022, with total worldwide album sales of over 40 million. The number-one country hitmaker, actor and restauranteur may now be in his 60s, but he doesn't appear to be thinking about retirement anytime soon. In celebration of his birthday, keep reading to see photographs of Toby highlighting key moments in his decades-long career.

1993: Toby Keith's Debut Single Becomes a Number-One Country Hit

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - OCTOBER 14: Toby Keith performs at Shoreline Amphitheatre on October 14, 1993 in Mountain View California.

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Toby Keith's debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," shot to number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1993. It went on to become the most played country song on radio in the 1990s. "Should've Been a Cowboy" is on Toby's debut album, Toby Keith, which also contains the hits "He Ain't Worth Missing," "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action" and "Wish I Didn't Know Now." Toby's second album, the platinum-designated Boomtown, appeared quickly a year later and contains the hits "Who's That Man," "Upstairs Downtown" and "You Ain't Much Fun."

1998: Toby Keith Releases His Final Album with Mercury

Toby Keith, wife Tricia Covel, and son Stelen Covel

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In 1998, Toby Keith released his final Mercury album, Greatest Hits Volume One, which contained two new songs, including "Getcha Some." He moved to DreamWorks Records in 1999. Toby is pictured here in 1998 with his wife, Tricia, whom he married in 1984, and their son, Stelen, who was born in 1997.

2003: Toby Keith Teams Up with Willie Nelson for "Beer for My Horses"

Willie Nelson and Toby Keith during Super Bowl XXXVIII Pre-Game Show at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, United States.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Toby Keith paired up with Willie Nelson for the song "Beer for My Horses," the fourth and final single from Toby's album Unleashed. The song spent six weeks sitting atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and became Toby's biggest hit of his career on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 22. He is pictured above with Nelson performing at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

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2006: Toby Keith Makes His Big-Screen Debut in Broken Bridges

Toby Keith during 41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards - Show at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

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Toby Keith made his big-screen acting debut in the 2006 music drama Broken Bridges. Toby plays Bo Price, a fading country star who returns to his Tennessee hometown, where he is reunited with his former girlfriend (Kelly Preston) and estranged daughter (Lindsey Haun). The movie soundtrack featured songs by Toby and other artists, including Toby's "Crash Here Tonight." The film generated solid disc sales and is played often on CMT.

2013: Forbes Dubs Toby Keith "Country Music's $500 Million Man"

Toby Keith toasts his fans with a red solo cup, the name of one of his hit songs on the Mane Stage during the first day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Indio Polo Fields on the first day, Friday, April 26, 2013.

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In 2013, Forbes magazine featured Toby Keith on its cover with the caption "Country Music's $500 Million Man." Not only has Toby continued to make hit country songs and embark on successful tours, but his side business ventures have also proven lucrative. Toby opened his first Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Oklahoma in 2005. The restaurant named after Toby's song "I Love This Bar" had several locations across the country, but today one location remains in Oklahoma City.

2017: Toby Keith Performs at an Inauguration Celebration for Donald Trump

Toby Keith Trump Inauguration 2017

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Toby Keith left the Democratic Party in 2008 and reregistered as an Independent. He told CMT, "My party that I've been affiliated with all these years doesn't stand for anything that I stand for anymore. They've lost any sensibility that they had, and they've allowed all the kooks in. So I'm going Independent." Toby is pictured above on January 19, 2017, at a performance for President-elect Donald Trump in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

2021: Toby Keith Releases His 19th Studio Album

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Toby Keith performs onstage during the 2021 iHeartCountry Festival Presented By Capital One at The Frank Erwin Center on October 30, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Editorial Use Only.

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Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for iHeartMediaIn October 2021, Toby Keith released his 19th studio album, Peso in My Pocket, featuring the singles "Old School," "Happy Birthday America" and "Oklahoma Breakdown." Toby began writing songs for the album at his house in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. The "How Do You Like Me Now?!" singer turns 61 on July 8, 2022. Happy birthday, Toby!

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Read More: Toby Keith Shares His Earliest Memory of Longtime Pal Tim McGraw on 'The Ty Bentli Show'

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