Toby Keith was born with the name Toby Keith Covel on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Okla. The family moved to Oklahoma City when Keith was young, and it was there he became interested in the musicians who worked in his grandmother's supper club. He got his first guitar at age 8, but it would be years before Keith would pursue music as a career. At 6-feet-4 inches, Keith worked in the oil industry and played defensive end with the Oklahoma City Drillers United States Football League (USFL) team.
In 1984, Keith turned to music full time, playing the honky-tonk circuit in Oklahoma and Texas with the band Easy Money. A demo tape made the rounds in Nashville, but there were no takers. After catching a show in Oklahoma, Mercury Records President Harold Shedd signed him to Mercury Records. His 1993 debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," went to No. 1 on the Billboard country singles chart, and his self-titled debut album was certified platinum.
When Shedd left Mercury for Polydor Records, Keith went with him. He released a second album, Boomtown, in 1994. The gold-selling collection produced the No. 1 hit "Who's That Man" and the Top 5 hit "You Ain't Much Fun." The platinum-selling Blue Moon followed in 1996, featuring introspective tunes like "Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You" and "Me Too."
When Polydor closed its Nashville operation, Toby Keith returned to Mercury Nashville, releasing Dream Walkin' in 1997. The bittersweet ballad, "When We Were in Love," went to No. 2, as did a cover version of rocker Sting's divorce ode "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying." The duet earned the unlikely pair a Grammy nomination, and Sting joined Keith for a performance on the 1997 CMA Awards telecast. Keith's Greatest Hits, Volume I followed in 1998, although its lead single, "Getcha Some," failed to crack the Top 10. (It has since sold more than 2 million copies.)
Unable to see eye to eye with Mercury, Keith moved to the fledgling DreamWorks Nashville label in 1999. There he worked with label head and producer James Stroud on the studio album How Do You Like Me Now?! The lead single, "When Love Fades," was a modest hit, but the title cut was a five-week No. 1 hit. Another single, "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This," also went to the top spot on the singles chart for three weeks.
The double-platinum success of How Do You Like Me Now?! also earned Toby Keith some long-awaited award nominations. Keith won two Academy of Country Music awards in 2000, for male vocalist and album. In 2001, he won his first CMA award, for male vocalist. His 2001 album, Pull My Chain, produced three No. 1 hits, "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight," "I Wanna Talk About Me" and "My List." (The latter two spent five weeks each at No. 1.) He was also nominated for six Academy of Country Music awards in 2001, though he didn't win any.
On March 24, 2001, Toby Keith's father, H.K. Covel, was killed in a traffic accident in Oklahoma. Covel's truck was sideswiped by another vehicle, which caused his truck to swerve into another lane, where it collided with a charter bus. Within six months, the events of 9/11 prompted Keith to write "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," a song about his father's patriotism that pulled no punches. As the lead single from the 2002 album Unleashed, the song peaked at No. 1 over the Independence Day weekend.
Brantley Gilbert joins a long line of country outlaws this summer on Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour this 2011. The aspiring country rocker is hitting the road all summer long to promote his first hit single "Country Must Be Country Wide". Additional Brantley Gilbert tour dates are scheduled at other venues throughout 2011. Don't miss a date on Brantley Gilbert's concert schedule 2011; Use Eventful as your source for Brantley Gilbert tour dates and concert tour information.
Gilbert hails from Jefferson, Georgia and cites his southern roots as the basis for his lyrics. It wasn't until a near fatal car accident in which his truck flipped over several times on the highway that Gilbert realized that life is short and precious. Following a lengthy recovery, he then focused his energies towards his passion and embarked on a full-time career in music. He was picked up for an indie record deal in 2005 and was supposed to release his debut album, A Modern Day Prodigal Son, but he was dropped from the line-up before the album hit stores. Brantley Gilbert toured constantly, and performed as many concerts as venues would have him in order to secure another deal.
Years of constant touring earned Gilbert a record contract with Average Joe's Entertainment who released his debut album in 2009. Although, no singles were released, the album did appear on the Billboard Country Albums chart in 2009 and garnered him attention in and around Nashville. Gilbert was noticed by Jason Aldean who re-recorded Gilbert's "My Kinda Party" for his 2010 album of the same name. The single became a #2 hit for Aldean and legitimated Gilbert as a songwriter. Aldean also recorded the Gilbert penned track, "Dirt Road Anthem", which serves as his current single and is climbing up the Billboard country charts. Brantley Gilbert tour dates were vigorously scheduled throughout the Southeast and he was soon picked up to a major deal with the Valory Music Group.
Gilbert scored his first charting single with "Country Must Be Country Wide", in 2011. The single is currently rising up the country charts and his sophomore album, Halfway to Heaven, has been in stores since 2010. The aspiring country star has been on the road touring for the better part of 2010-11 to promote his records. In addition to individual Brantley Gilbert tour dates, the country rocker has signed on to Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour, which is playing fairgrounds and festivals throughout Summer, 2011. Don't miss a Brantley Gilbert concert or performance; Use Eventful as your source for Brantley Gilbert tour dates and venue information.