Amazing! Tobe Keith blew the lid off The Forum with his thrilling tribute to the late Merle Haggard during the American Country Countdown Awards in Inglewood, CA. He performed a medley of the legend’s hits by the man he called his ‘idol.’
WOW! We’ve gotta hand it to Toby Keith, 54, for doing the late Merle Haggard super proud with his mind-blowing musical memorial during the 2016 American County Countdown Awards. He was able to channel his hero with the help of Merle’s backup band, The Strangers. Keep reading for more on his scorching performance.
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, 46, gave the big introduction to Bakersfield, CA’s finest, rolling through Merle’s legendary career highlights, calling him an “outlaw” and a “hero to country’s finest.” Since Merle’s hit list includes 38 number one country chart-toppers, it was difficult for Toby to decide which songs to play for the awards show, but he did Merle proud by performing “Mama Tried,” “Today I Started Loving You Again,” “Today I Think I’ll Stay Here and Drink,” “Working Man’s Blues,” “Silver Wings,” and finally Merle’s signature “Okee From Muskogee.”
The country icon died Apr. 6 of pneumonia at his California home at age 79. He toured relentlessly over the years but had to cancel several performances just before his death due to his waning health. Stream Toby and Merle’s music, completely unlimited and ad-free, RIGHT HERE
— KICKS 101.5 (@KICKS1015) May 2, 2016
Toby took the stage with Merle for the final time back in Feb. in Las Vegas during one of Merle’s final shows. In an interview recalling that amazing night, Toby told the Associated Press that, “He made it (through) about eight songs. He was really struggling. And he called me up there. I said, ‘I know every song you got and I don’t need a teleprompter. Let’s go. Let’s have some fun.’ And we took off. We ran through the rest of the song list.”
“He’s the biggest ever. He never did stray off the beaten path. He stayed exactly with what he did,” Toby said. “He never quit writing the same style of songs,” before adding “He was my idol.” Awww! Toby totally made Merle proud with his amazing memorial performance!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Toby’s tribute to Merle?