Oklahoma country music icon Toby Keith has died after a multiyear battle with stomach cancer.
He was 62.
“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time,” reads a statement posted early Tuesday on Keith’s social media.
A singer, songwriter, entertainer, philanthropist and businessman, Keith is best known for his enduring country music hits like “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!” and “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue”
Throughout his hall of fame career, he scored 42 Top 10 hits, including 32 chart-toppers, sold 40 million albums and achieved more than 10 billion streams, primarily on the strength of his own songwriting and under the banner of his own Show Dog Nashville record label.
Along with being a world class entertainer, Keith was also heavily involved in the fishing industry. Toby Keith recently acquired Luck E Strike, a bait and tackle brand name as ingrained with top tier anglers as it is with weekend recreationalists.
For the singer of “Made in America,” Luck E Strike occupies a special place in the world of outdoor sports.
“They’ve got a lot of history,” Keith said. “It’s actually one of the earliest fishing brands that is universally stocked in national retailers.”
In the bass fishing world, Luck E Strike is well known for tackle kits, hand crafted crankbaits, and its Redman Spinnerbait. The latter was designed by Houston who used it successfully for decades and led to his two first-place finishes in Bassmaster competitions.
“In addition to being one of the best singers and songwriters, Toby Keith is an incredible patriot,” Houston said. “Tying those two together in an American lure company known for making outstanding bass and crappie lures at great prices is exciting.”
Lucky E Strike released a statement this morning commenting on Toby Keith’s passing. “We are absolutely heartbroken and in shock. Love you TK. You were one of the greatest American’s of our time. I am so proud to have called you my friend, fishing buddy and business partner. Gone way too soon.”
Keith undoubtedly touched the lives of millions of Americans all over the country, and will go down as one of the greatest singers, songwriters and patriots of our time. Keith is survived by his wife of four decades, Tricia Covel; their three children, Shelley, Krystal and Stelen; and their grandchildren.