W hen the country star Toby Keith flew to Riyadh in May to play one of the first public concerts held in Saudi Arabia since the early s, he was given strict instructions: no songs about drinking, marijuana, or sex. Keith soldiered on with his less racy hits, filling out the set list with rock and soul standards. Until this year, even so tasteful a show would likely have been forbidden in the notoriously conservative kingdom. But, looking to diversify its economy as oil revenues decline, the country recently relaxed its decades-long de facto ban on live music. At the invitation of the royal court, Keith was the first Westerner to be booked. While Keith was engaged in this act of cultural exchange, Donald Trump was a few miles away with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, shuttling between stops on his first official trip abroad. According to press reports, their golf cart briefly slowed so the heads of state could take in the concert on a jumbo TV screen. In the past, this was not such a controversial position for a country singer to hold. Or perhaps his songbook chose it for him.
Country music star Toby Keith's self-titled debut album went platinum in The controversial tune caused Keith to bump heads with fellow country star Natalie Maines. Outside of his dispute with Maines, Keith has worked with country greats like Willie Nelson. He went on to release several popular albums and tried his hand at acting in Raised in Oklahoma City, Keith started playing music at a young age after being inspired by the musicians who worked in his grandmother's supper club. After working for a while in the oil industry and playing defense in the USFL football league, he decided to pursue a career in music. In the early '90s, Keith signed with Mercury Records, and by his self-titled debut album was certified platinum. In , Keith's father was killed in a traffic accident. The incident, combined with the events of September 11, prompted Keith to write the controversial "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue The Angry American ," which was hugely popular, particularly among military personnel. He received an additional surge of media attention in when he engaged in a public clash with Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks.
Who Is Toby Keith?
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Toby Keith Covel born July 8, is an American country singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. Keith released his first four studio albums—'s Toby Keith , 's Boomtown , 's Blue Moon and 's Dream Walkin' , plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving Mercury in These albums all earned Gold or higher certification, and produced several Top Ten singles, including his debut " Should've Been a Cowboy ", which topped the country charts and was the most-played country song of the s. The song has received three million spins since its release, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated.