Tim McGraw Pays Emotional Tribute to 'Great Friend' Toby Keith

McGraw implored the crowd to 'bear with me if I don't get through it.'

Tim McGraw walked down memory lane for an emotional tribute to his "great friend," Toby Keith.

The "Humble and Kind" country crooner took to Instagram on Friday and posted a video showing him in the middle of his concert at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, where he shared one of his favorite memories of the late "Red Solo Cup" singer.

"Toby and I got to know each other pretty well early in our career," McGraw said in the video as he addressed the packed crowd. "We spent a lot of time hanging out on the bus, played some shows together, having to guard him in basketball. It wasn't a lot of fun because he beat the s**t out of you."

The crowd got a good laugh at that last tidbit. 

"But he was a really, really good guy. A great friend and I always respected how he did things his way and didn't care what anybody thought," he continued. "So, bear with me if I don't get through it -- you guys can help me out -- but I want to dedicate this song to Toby and his family."

McGraw then proceeded to play his 2015 hit "Live Like You Were Dying." You can see in parts of the video McGraw appears to be washed over with emotion as he spreads his arms while the crowd continues singing the inspirational tune.

The sweet tribute comes just days after Keith died peacefully on Feb. 5 following a lengthy cancer battle. He was 62. His death was announced on his website and social media accounts, stating he passed away "peacefully" while surrounded by family. 

"He fought his fight with grace and courage," the statement read. "Please respect the privacy of his family at this time." 

In 2022, Keith announced that he had been privately battling stomach cancer for months. 

Following his tragic death, the music community paid tribute to the "Should've Been a Cowboy" singer.

GRAMMY nominated singer Jelly Roll took to his Instagram story to post a photo of Keith with the message, "We covered 'Should've Been a Cowboy' at every show last year - Toby inspired millions and I was one of them RIP."

Keith is survived by his wife of 39 years, Tricia Lucus, and children Shelley, Krystal, and Stelen. 


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