Why Toby Keith Refused To Move To Nashville

14 February 2024 | 3:28 pm | Mary Varvaris

"I never felt right about moving to another city..."

Toby Keith

Toby Keith (Source: Supplied)

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Last week, News 9 shared an hour-plus interview with the late country music icon Toby Keith on YouTube. Amongst chats about cancer, his faith, and music, the American singer revealed why he’d never moved to Nashville in his career.

In the interview with Robin Marsh, Keith revealed that he always aimed to prioritise his personal happiness and health over awards, recognition, and the life living in Nashville could have offered.

Keith admitted that living in Nashville helps artists’ careers, but he had a strong connection with his hometown of Moore, Oklahoma. “I grew up fishing in the river that goes along my ranch here,” he said. “This is where I was raised. This is where I come home to.”

He further described his affirmative decision, “I never felt right about moving to another city. I can go to the house in Colorado, I can go to Cabo, in the winter I go to my lake house in Grand Lake... I can go anywhere in the world I wanna go, but after six or seven days, I’m like, ‘I gotta get back to my ranch. I need to get back to my home.’”

Alleging that “only a certain amount of signed-up voters in Nashville” vote in important country music awards in the US, he continued, “Me not living there… I don’t have the network that everybody else has.” But that didn’t bother him all that much: “I didn’t care,” he admitted, “I’ll sacrifice that to get to live here.”

You can watch the full interview below, with the Nashville talk starting approximately 38 minutes into the video.

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Toby Keith passed away earlier this month at the age of 62. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2022.

In a statement, Keith’s family wrote that he died peacefully and “fought his fight with grace and courage”.

Keith was a country music star who had twenty #1 Billboard country hits and 42 top 10 singles across his multi-decade career, including How Do You Like Me Now?!Should've Been A CowboyAs Good As I Once WasMy List and Beer For My Horses, a duet with Willie Nelson.

His impact went beyond music, with the singer survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and children Shelley, Krystel and Stelen. Toby and Tricia set up the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006 to help children and their families dealing with cancer. They left a charitable legacy to join his musical legacy as one of country music’s most revered figures.

You can read some emotional tributes for the artist here.