Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8: country music singer-songwriter, Toby Keith- “How do You Like Me Now” – is 52-years-old today.

Tobias Keith Covel was born July 8, 1961 in Clinton, Oklahoma. His grandmother owned Billie Garner's Supper Club in Fort Smith, here Keith became interested in the musicians who performed there. He did odd at the club and started performing with the bands. He got his first guitar at the age of eight.

After high school, Keith worked as a derrick hand in the oil fields. At the age of 20, he and his friends Scott Webb, Keith Cory, David "Yogi" Vowell and Danny Smith, with a few others, formed the Easy Money Band, which played at local bars. In 1982, the oil industry in Oklahoma began a rapid decline and Keith soon found himself unemployed. He fell back on his football training and played defensive end with the semi-pro Oklahoma City Drillers while continuing to perform with his band.

Keith released his first four studio albums—1993's Toby Keith, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon and 1997's Dream Walkin', plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving the label in 1998.

These albums all earned gold or higher certification, and produced several chart singles, including his debut "Should've Been a Cowboy," which topped the country charts and was the most played country song of the 1990s. The song has  been played three million times since its release, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated.

Signed to Nashville DreamWorks in 1998, Keith released his breakthrough single "How Do You Like Me Now?!" that year. This song, the title track to his 1999 album of the same name, was the Number One country song of 2000, and one of several chart-toppers during his tenure on DreamWorks Nashville.

 His next three albums, Pull My Chain, Unleashed, and Shock'n Y'all, produced three more Number Ones each, and all of the albums were certified multi-platinum. A second Greatest Hits package followed in 2004, and after that, he released Honkytonk University.

In 2005, Keith founded his own label, Show Dog Nashville, which became part of Show Dog-Universal Music in December 2009. He has released seven studio albums on this label: White Trash with MoneyBig Dog DaddyThat Don't Make Me a Bad Guy, American Ride, Bullets in the GunClancy's Tavern and Hope on the Rocks as well as the compilation 35 Biggest Hits in 2008. He has also signed several other acts to the label, including Trailer Choir, Carter's Chord, Flynnville Train, Trace Adkins, Mac McAnally and Mica Roberts.

Keith also made his acting debut in 2006, starring in the film Broken Bridges and co-starred  in the 2008 film Beer for My Horses.

All told, Keith has released sixteen studio albums, two Christmas albums, and three compilation albums. He has also charted more than forty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including nineteen Number One hits and sixteen additional Top Ten hits.

His longest-lasting Number One hits are "Beer for My Horses" (a 2003 duet with Willie Nelson) and "As Good as I Once Was" at six weeks each. He has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

For more about Toby, visit his Website at –

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