Tim McGraw Tearfully Honors Late Toby Keith With An Emotional Dedication Of “Live Like You Were Dying”

“Bear with me if I don’t get through it, you guys help me out, but I want to dedicate this song to Toby and his family,” McGraw told the crowd.

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on February 11, 2024

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Tim McGraw Honoring Late Toby Keith; Photo Courtesy of TikTok

Tim McGraw paid tribute to late country music icon Toby Keith with an emotional dedication of his poignant track, “Live Like You Were Dying,” during his concert on February 8 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The country superstar took a moment during his concert in The Sunshine State to remember his late friend and fellow country hitmaker.

Toby Keith; Photo by Greg Watermann
Toby Keith; Photo by Greg Watermann

Watch Tim McGraw’s Emotional Tribute To The Late Toby Keith

“Toby and I got to know each other pretty well, early in our careers. We spent a lot of time hanging out on the bus…played some shows together. Had to guard him in basketball…wasn’t a lot of fun because he’d beat the sh*t out of you,” he told the crowd. “But he was a really, really good guy — a great artist. And I always respected how he did things his way and didn’t care what anybody thought.”

McGraw, visibly overcome with emotions, then dedicated his performance of “Live Like You Were Dying” to the late Toby Keith, telling fans, “bear with me if I don’t get through it, you guys help me out, but I want to dedicate this song to Toby and his family.”

He went on to perform the tune, which he released in June of 2004 as a tribute to his late father, Tug McGraw.

McGraw’s performance of the emotional tune prompted a massive sing-along with fans, who were also mourning the loss of the country music legend.

Remembered toby Keith with Heartfelt Message

McGraw also took to social media to share a heartfelt message alongside a photo of Toby Keith’s self-titled album art upon hearing the sad news of Toby Keith’s passing.

“Our self titled debuts came out on the same day, April 20, 1993… Toby and I spent quite a bit of time together early in our careers,” he wrote at the time. “We had a lot of good times and conversations about what we wanted out of our careers and our lives. He was a maverick. He did things his way, on his terms, a true artist. I always have and always will have tremendous respect for his artistry, dedication and fearlessness to do his thing. We all will miss you, brother.”

Toby Keith Passed Away After Stomach Cancer Battle

The powerful tribute performance came just days after the Toby Keith died. Keith passed away at the age of 62 years old on February 5, following a more than two-year battle with stomach cancer. A representative for the country music icon shared the sad news with fans via a statement on his official website and social media profiles.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family” a statement on his official social media read. “He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Toby is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, as well as his children, Krystal Keith, Shelley Covel Rowland, and Stelen Keith Covel. Keith is also survived by his four grandchildren.

His death comes just weeks after what are now known as his final concerts in Las Vegas. The three concerts celebrated Keith’s iconic career in country music and found the hitmaker performing dozens of his chart-topping hits, including “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue,” “Beer For My Horses,” “Red Solo Cup,” and many more.

Stomach Cancer Diagnosis

He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in October 2022. In June of 2022, he revealed his diagnosis with fans on social media and was forced to cancel all of his scheduled concerts at the time.

“Last fall, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” the “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” singer revealed on social media at the time.

Toby Keith Was A Country Music Icon

With 32 No.1 singles and 40 million albums sold, Toby Keith was regarded as one of country music’s biggest hitmakers. He wrote a chart-topping hit every year for 20 consecutive years, including “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” “I Love This Bar,” “Beer For My Horses,” and “As Good As I Once Was.”

He was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (having already been inducted into the all-genre Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015), and was honored with the Academy of Country Music’s prestigious Merle Haggard Spirit Award.

Throughout his career, the Oklahoma native received the BMI Icon Award as well as the BMI Country Songwriter of the Year award three times, and his hit single “As Good As I Once Was” was awarded BMI’s Country Song of the Year in 2006. He also recently received People’s Choice Country Awards’ Country Icon Award.

YouTube video

His music has garnered tens of billions of streams and over 100 million terrestrial radio spins to date.

Toby Keith Foundation — OK Kids Korral

Keith’s most rewarding experiences, however, have come from giving back locally, nationally, and abroad. His annual golf classics fund the Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for families of children dealing with critical illnesses, and his 11 USO tours have enhanced the lives of nearly 256,000 troops and military families. 

In 2014, he was given the Spirit of the USO Award for his work with the organization, which has so far included 11 tours and more than 285 events in over 18 countries. In an even more personal instance of philanthropy, he became the face of his hometown after it was ravaged by a tornado, shouldering the cleanup, and headlining the 2013 OK Twister Relief Concert.

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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