Toby Keith took a step back from the limelight after publicly addressing his battle with stomach cancer in June, but in the last week, he has made quite a few appearances.
Including a significant one at the 2022 BMI Country Awards to accept the Icon Award.
For those unfamiliar, Nashville BMI Records is an organization that collects and distributes royalties and licensing fees to protect the work of singers and songwriters in the country music industry.
The organization was founded over 80 years ago and has been a prominent player in the country music industry since, representing nearly 1.3 million songwriters and composers.
Toby Keith was selected as the Icon of the Year by them this year. Keith shares how he got affiliated with the organization during his acceptance speech.
“My first thing when I got to Nashville……they said, ‘You’ve got to get affiliated.’
So I walked into the office one day….and I said, ‘I’m from Oklahoma, and I need to get ‘filiated.'”
He tells a hilarious story about how he became affiliated with BMI and noted how appreciative he is of them from a songwriter’s perspective; he thinks that songwriting is the most essential part of the industry.
It is interesting to hear how Keith wasn’t sure if he would make it as a singer when he first arrived in Nashville, but he knew that there was a chance someone could cut a song he wrote.
Lucky for him, he was dealt a great hand of cards that allowed him to be a superstar singer and a songwriter.
Toby Keith is a great storyteller, and this speech was phenomenal. Most award speeches are all about thanking those who got you there, which Keith makes sure to do, but includes his perspective on the industry with some unfiltered stories.
Toby Keith, you are an icon. Congratulations.