Toby Keith

Class of
Toby Keith

Toby Keith

'You get out what you put in. I've always been the hardest worker, and prided myself on that. I may not be the biggest star around, but nobody will ever out work me. That's my approach.'
Toby Keith


One of the most recognizable superstars in America, Toby Keith was born in Clinton, Oklahoma. He received his first guitar at age 8, but didn't turn to music full time until 1984 where he played the honky-tonk circuit in Oklahoma and Texas with the band Easy Money.

Keith's 1993 self-penned debut single 'Should've Been a Cowboy' went to No. 1 on the charts to begin his career in earnest. It was the most played single in the 90s. Toby has sold 30 million CDs and has had 22 #1 singles. Toby received numerous awards including one of the most prestigious, The 50 Million Spins award from BMI. The other BMI recipients include John Lennon, Elton John, and the Bee Gees. Keith's philanthropic nature kept him busy spending time with children suffering from cancer or performing for our troops. He completed five USO tours and frequently visited soldiers in hospitals. In 2004, he helped to found Ally's House, where Oklahoman children with cancer can get help with medical bills, short-term housing, travel, clothing, groceries, and other needs, and in 2006, he founded the Toby Keith Foundation. Keith also contributed to Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the Salvation Army, among many other charities.

In 2005, Keith started his own record company, Show Dog Nashville. The same year, he opened 'I Love This Bar & Grill' in Bricktown. He starred in the Paramount/CMT film Broken Bridges in 2006. The soundtrack for the movie made music history as the highest debut for an independent label.

Fun fact

Toby Keith sang, wrote and produced his 2007 album BIG DOG DADDY. It was the first time for Keith to have 100% ownership of one of his albums.

Oklahoma connections

Born in Clinton, Oklahoma.




Entrepreneur, Singer, Songwriter






Relevant Exhibits

Lights, Lyrics, Legends: Trailblazing Entertainers

Lights, Lyrics, Legends: Trailblazing Entertainers

This exhibit celebrates 18 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Inductees who have left a mark on American culture through their contributions to opera, film, Broadway, rodeo, and more.