In Honor of The Late Toby Keith: Rare Red Carpet Appearance by His Children at 2024 CMT Music Awards

Shelley Covel Rowland, Krystal Keith and Stelen Keith Covel stepped out to the CMT Music Awards in memory of their late father.

By

Melanie Rooten

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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Posted on April 8, 2024

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Krystal Sandubrae Keith, Shelley Covel and Stelen Covel; Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

The country music community was shocked when Toby Keith passed away at the age of 62 on February 5, with artists and longtime friends taking the time to honor the “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer ever since. The 2024 CMT Music Awards are no exception, with Brooks & Dunn, Lainey Wilson and Sammy Hagar set to perform a tribute to the late country music legend later this evening.

Because of the emotional tribute performance that Toby Keith will be receiving at the 2024 CMT Music Awards, Keith’s children — Shelley Covel Rowland, Krystal Keith and Stelen Keith Covel — stepped out at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas to make a rare red carpet appearance together, with the latter telling CMT in an exclusive interview that his father would be “really excited” for tonight’s tribute.

“He’s made some amazing music throughout his career, and it’s amazing we get to see that come to fruition, and see his due given,” Stelen added.

Krystal chimed in, “He was a genius in music, and people are starting to see that now… I think people thought he was just an artist, but they’re learning he was so much more than that.”

Krystal Sandubrae Keith, Shelley Covel and Stelen Covel; Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT
Krystal Sandubrae Keith, Shelley Covel and Stelen Covel; Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

As far as their ensembles go, each individual let their unique style shine, just like their father would have wanted. Shelley rocked a rainbow beaded blazer and skirt set with some chunky metallic heels — showing that she likes to be fun with her fashion — while Krystal wore an elegant blue gown with crystal embellishments and Stelen wore a sharp gray suit.

Brooks & Dunn, Lainey Wilson and Sammy Hagar To Honor Toby Keith with a tribute at the 2024 CMT Music Awards

As mentioned, the three-hour television broadcast will honor late country music icon Toby Keith with an emotional tribute performance from Brooks & Dunn, Lainey Wilson and Sammy Hagar, all backed by Toby Keith’s longtime band. At the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, Brooks & Dunn will take the stage to sing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” Lainey Wilson will take the stage to sing “How Do You Like Me Now?” and Sammy Hagar will take the stage to sing “I Love This Bar,” respectively.

While this performance will undoubtedly honor the life of the late Toby Keith, executive producer John Hamlin talked about how this performance will simultaneously highlight his impact on CMT throughout his illustrious career, detailing in an interview with Variety ahead of the CMT Awards, “Toby’s had a very important relationship with this brand and this channel for 20 years now, He never mailed it in on music videos — they were always clever, funny, [and] memorable on almost every occasion. The CMT Music Awards is honoring music videos to this day, and he’s an icon to this brand, so he will be greatly missed for sure.”

Toby Keith's Kids; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT
Toby Keith’s Kids; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

2024 CMT Music Awards

The 2024 CMT Music Awards will feature performances from Jelly RollBailey ZimmermanKeith UrbanLainey WilsonSam HuntDashaJason AldeanKelsea BalleriniMegan MoroneyTrisha Yearwood and more.

In addition to this, the fan-voted award show will include a star-studded list of one-of-a-kind collaborations and memorable moments. Parker McCollum will team up with Brittney Spencer to perform “Burn It Down,” while Old Dominion and Megan Moroney will join forces to deliver a performance of their fan-favorite duet, “Can’t Break Up Now.”

Meanwhile, NEEDTOBREATHE and Jordan Davis will give fans a taste of what’s to come on their episode of CMT Crossroads, and Sugarland will reunite to premiere a brand-new collaboration with Little Big Town, marking the duo’s return to the CMT Music Awards, as well as their first time performing together on the show since 2011.

Krystal Keith, Shelley Covel Rowland and Stelen Keith Covel; Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for CMT
Krystal Keith, Shelley Covel Rowland and Stelen Keith Covel; Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for CMT

With performances aside, Jelly Roll, Megan Moroney, Amber Riley, Billy Bob Thornton (Landman), Carly Pearce, Cody Alan, Cody Johnson, Emily Osment (Young Sheldon), Emma Roberts, Gayle King (CBS Mornings), James Van Der Beek, Jane Seymour, Jelly Roll, Max Theriot (Fire Country), Melissa Etheridge, Mickey Guyton, Minnie Driver, Montana Jordan (Young Sheldon), Parmalee and Paul Walter Hauser will all serve as presenters during the coveted award show.

Hosted by Kelsea Ballerini, the 2024 CMT Music Awards will air live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 7 at 8/7 CT on CBS. The show is also available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

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Written by

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

See more posts from Melanie Rooten