We are all in the thick of reliving some of Toby Keith‘s memorable stage moments.
Last week the country music community was crushed when the news broke that Toby Keith peacefully passed at the age of 62. Since the heartbreaking news, country music fans, colleagues, and more have been sharing moments where Keith touched them… and damn. He left a mark on every path that he crossed. The headlines were flooded with tender and heartfelt words noting how much even the smallest of interactions stuck with folks.
But the one thing that Toby Keith will always be remembered for is the burning love he had for our nation. He was, without a doubt, the king of patriotic anthems and heavily supported our troops. Back in 2012, Toby Keith created a memory for a military couple that will never be topped. While performing a show in Houston, he brought up a military wife on stage to help him sing “American Soldier.”
“I said I was drinking to the families tonight for the people who are proud enough to wear my country’s uniform. Do any of you all here tonight have a soldier or marines overseas that you love a lot?”
He asks the crowd as the camera zooms in on a woman in the crowd cheering. He pulls up the wife of Major Pete Cruz and honors the woman’s husband, dedicating “American Soldier” to him and his father (to whom Keith always dedicated it to). During the performance, she is grinning from ear to ear, but you can tell she is nervous to be standing next to the icon.
After the song, Keith’s guitar play keeps the American spirit alive, stepping forward for a guitar solo, and Keith looks around for his American flag acoustic to be handed to him. Right on cue, Major Pete Cruz walks out in uniform to hand Keith his guitar…but more importantly surprise his wife that he is back from his Afghanistan deployment. As the two embrace on stage, the crowd is going wild.
“So my beautiful crew told me before the show tonight, there’s a girl sitting over here in T, and she’s in this little tan dress, and you met her in the meet tonight. Her husband’s coming home tonight and she’s got no idea…”
He then extends a hand to her husband, thanking him for his service. The crowd has not mellowed out one bit, hooping and hollering throughout the whole display.
“Can you sing a little boot in your a**, with us?”
He asks to keep the couple on stage for an electric performance of “Courtesy Of The Red, White, and Blue.” At the end of the song, sparklers fire off the stage, and the audience is ROARING.
I’m not going to lie I teared up reliving this moment. Toby Keith was the biggest champion for those who serve our nation, and that legacy will live on forever through remembering moments like this.