Hot off the heels of his two-week sold-out debut European tour, superstar Toby Keith has been named Billboard's #1 Country Artist of the Decade and #1 Country Songwriter of the Decade. Toby also ranked among the top selling artists in all-genres landing at #3 on Billboard's Top 200 Artists of the Decade. This year alone ushered in benchmarked single chart success, sold-out tours around the world and continued support for his community. And all the hard work since the 21st century began has proven to bring the highest levels of industry success.
In addition to the Billboard artist and songwriter of the decade titles, Toby was honored by the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International (NSAI), which awarded him its prestigious Songwriter/Artist of the Decade Award (2000 – 2009) for his hits including "How Do You Like Me Now," "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)," "Beer For My Horses," "I Love This Bar," "As Good As I Once Was" and "God Love Her."
These top honors join the accolades awarded to Toby throughout the last 10 years which include being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. The Academy of Country Music named him Entertainer of the Year twice consecutively, and gave the film that Keith starred in, co-wrote and co-produced, Beer For My Horses, its Tex Ritter Award that recognizes a movie that utilizes country music and received widespread exposure. He is also a three-time BMI Country Artist/Songwriter of the Year with his catalog generating more than 65 million performances.
In this decade, his singles have spent more than a year at No. 1 on the charts, giving the singer-songwriter a No. 1 smash every year since his debut single "Should've Been A Cowboy" hit the top of the charts in 1993. This year, he landed the 27th No. 1 single of his career and 16th of this decade, with "American Ride," the track off his 15th studio album of the same name that debuted at the top of the Country Albums chart.
On the road, his 2009 U.S. America's Toughest Tour presented by Ford F Series played to more than a million people marking the ninth consecutive year the hard-touring artist will cross the impressive million ticket threshold. Overseas, Keith embarked on his first European tour in November where he sold-out a two-week run that included nine shows in six countries. He recently returned to Norway where he performed at the 16th annual Nobel Peace Prize concert.
Keith also journeyed to the Persian Gulf on his seventh consecutive USO tour, visiting small, remote forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan and performing 17 shows in 11 days. Since working with the organization in 2002, he has traveled to more than 10 countries, participated in more than 128 events and entertained more than 118,000 service members.
In recognition of his service here and abroad, this year, Toby received the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Distinguished Service Award for his exceptional support of military people and the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation's Johnny "Mike" Spann Memorial Semper Fidelis Award for being "always faithful" (Semper Fidelis) in his loyalty to and support of America's troops.
And much closer to home, he pledged his support for the sixth straight year for Oklahoma children with cancer by hosting the 2009 Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic benefiting Ally’s House. To date, the annual event has raised nearly $3 million for the organization Keith helped establish that assists pediatric cancer patients and their families throughout the state.