Toby Keith Must Be Himself


Toby Keith photo courtesy of Show Dog Nashville.

January 4, 2008 — Toby Keith is known for insisting on doing things his own way, but he remembers what a struggle it was early on to gain control of his career.

"When I got here they tried to dress me up and curl my hair and put me in a suit," he tells Dial-Global. "You wouldn't believe how many times the label in meetings said, 'Why can't you be like Vince Gill?' And I said, ''Cause I'm not. We're both from Oklahoma and I love Vince to death, but I'm not Vince Gill.' When I finally started dressing out of my own closet is when I became successful because everything else fell into place."

Even after all these years, Toby Keith remembers in detail where he was the first time he heard himself on country radio. "Me and Shania [Twain] were on a bus, heading out on our first tour together," he says. "She had a song out and I had a song out; mine was 'Should've Been a Cowboy.' We were in the back lounge with the windows up. We went up through Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the deejay came on and said, 'Here's a brand new record that's lighting the phones up,' and it came on. I remember she jumped up and down, and I was just in shock. She was going, 'That's your song.' And I was going 'I know.' And I remember that was my first one and it could have ended right there."

Being the captain of his own ship continues to work out for Toby as his latest single, "Get My Drink On," is already a Top 20 hit and continues to climb the charts.