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Wow, what a year it's been for country star Toby Keith! Highlights include #1 songs, a smash new CD entitled "Unleashed", a feud with ABC news titan Peter Jennings, a patriotic song used as a morale builder by the US Marine Corp, a stint wrestling in the NWA, a winning racehorse from his Dream Walkin' Farms stable, and 9 CMA Award nominations. But wait, we're still not done- Toby has recently become the poster boy for Ford Trucks, and there's more....

So how does a farm boy from Oklahoma become a Multi-platinum selling artist? For Toby the best answer is a lot of hard work. He views his success as proof that his stubborn willingness to stick to his vision was the right course. "I wouldn't have been happy with compromise, and I never gave up," he relates. "It never entered my mind to change or try to conform just to stay afloat. My motto was always 'Let's go down with the ship or come back up.'"

Keith still lives in his native state, outside of Norman, Oklahoma with wife, Tricia, daughters Shelley and Krystal, and son Stelen. Family has always been a priority to Keith. He grew up with a colorful family and was especially close with his father, who died in 2001 in a unexpected automobile accident. "There's hardly a day goes by that somebody in my camp, in my home, or in my town, don't remind me of something he said. It's unbelievable. We talk about him so often its like he's not even gone. He had such a way with his words. He was so witty and so original and unique. I've seen him talk down to people so bad, that when I went over to apologize they were like, 'Naw, I love him.' He could talk people down and they'd still love him. He'd growed up 6'4'' or 6'5'', 270-275; he never did realize that he was old and had lost weight, and that he was frail. He'd cuss anybody. He'd get out at a red light and by God, he'd be out in the middle of the road yelling." / Issue 33 - September 8600
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