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20 December 2017
Toby Keith Caps Record-Breaking 2017 With Best-Of Nod

 

Funnyman Toby Keith has had a huge 2017. Funnyman? That's right, the man more commonly hailed as a Hall of Fame siongwriter and arena-filling entertainer has added an unexpected facet during a momentous year.

Unexpected to everyone except dedicated fans, of course, who were already well-versed in Keith's penchant for tucking a just-for-fun cut into his albums. Outliers in his otherwise radio chart-topping catalog, these humorous and often self-deprecating tracks were collected in The Bus Songs, which spent 11 consecutive weeks atop Billboard's Comedy Albums chart, by far a record for a country artist.

Interest in the project was fueled by the viral video smash for "Wacky Tobaccy," now well beyond 10 million views. More recently, Toby added a video for "Shitty Golfer," which is racing to catch its predecessor's tally. Meanwhile, The Bus Songs was recently named to Amazon's "Top Albums of 2017."

Toby discussed The Bus Songs on his Amazon Music Side-By-Side, and performed "Golfer" and Roger Miller's "Dang Me" during his Spotify Singles session. 

Other notable performances in 2017 include Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard in Nashville; The Cake And The Rain: 

A Celebration Of The Music Of Jimmy Webb at New York's Carnegie Hall; and Skyville Live: A Tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis in Nashville. Keith also became the first non-Arabic artist to perform a public show in Saudi Arabia during a visit to Riyadh.

For an entertainer who considers songwriting his true calling, receiving the Academy of Country Music's Poet's Award was the year's top honor. Recognized on the CBS-TV telecast along with Willie Nelson and Shel Silverstein.  Toby was celebrated for one of the greatest bodies of work in any genre - a legacy that saw him inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

A rare blend of creativity and business acumen, Keith has led his Show Dog Nashville label to great success in 2017. The unparalleled chart run of his album was driven unconventionally, as radio hits aren't possible for songs with those titles, obviously. Meanwhile, the label's Waterloo Revival are  streaming success with "What Guy Wouldn't." Currently, Toby's daughter Krystal Keith is planning the follow-up to her acclaimed debut album - look for an EP soon. Already out is her duet with recent SDN signee Lance Carpenter, "Anyone Else."

When it comes to motivation, Keith continually finds it in the work of the Toby Keith Foundation supporting OK Kids Korral, which provides a cost-free home-away-from-home for the sickest children receiving treatment in his native Oklahoma. This year's 14th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic raised a record-shattering $1.6 million, the most for a single event in the foundation's history.

Connecting the music and the fans was the 2017 Interstates & Tailgates Tour, which played to sold-out audiences nationwide. Praise for the tour includes:

"The set list in a word: entertaining. Keith included a fair share of songs guaranteed to garner laughs and audience sing-alongs... the performances were electric." - Spokesman-Review

"The Minnesota State Fair Grandstand may host no rowdier crowd [standing] for almost two hours during Keith's exuberant 20-song set and two-song encore Saturday night.   And the burly ex-football player and oil derrick worker with the low-slung cowboy hat gave them plenty to raise their cups about ... launching into one party tune after another, his 11-piece band - complete with three horns and a pedal steel guitar - executing each tune impeccably." - St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Oklahoman put on a delightfully politically incorrect and musically powerful show... with a 10-man band, including three horns, and three backup singers, every song was musically rich. And Keith performed [the songs] strongly." - Allentown Morning Call

 "Keith's commanding presence on stage with his strong voice and talented band gave [fans] exactly what they wanted." - Tulsa World

 

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