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Toby Keith

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Biography

Clinton, Oklahoma, United States (1961 – present)

Toby Keith Covel (born July 8, 1961) is an American country music singer and songwriter.

Early life and career

Toby Keith Covel was born in Clinton, Oklahoma, United States. His family moved to Moore, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City) when Keith was young. His grandmother owned a supper club and Keith became interested in the musicians who came there to play. He got his first guitar at the age of 8. Keith attended Moore High School where he played on the football team.

Keith graduated from Moore High School and, in 1979, went to work as a derrick hand in the booming oil fields of Oklahoma. He worked his way up to become an operation manager. At the age of 20, he formed the Easy Money band and they played local bars as he continued to work in the oil industry. At times, he would have to leave in the middle of a gig if he was paged to work in the oil field.

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. (The Drillers were an unofficial farm club of the USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws; Keith tried out for the Outlaws but did not make the team.) After two years with the Drillers, Keith decided to try music full time. His family and friends were doubtful he would succeed, but in 1984, Easy Money began playing the honky tonk circuit in Oklahoma and Texas. The band cut a single titled Blue Moon and the song received some airplay on local radio stations in Oklahoma.

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