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Hal Leonard

Toby Keith stands out in country music in having written at least one chart-topping single over each of the past 20 years, including “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “I Love This Bar,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),”  “Beer for My Horses” and “American Soldier.”

Born Toby Keith Covel (July 8, 1961), the native Oklahoman grew up on a farm near Oklahoma City. He was influenced by country musicians including Bob Wills and Merle Haggard, and worked as a rodeo hand in high school, then in oil fields while playing country-rock in local honky-tonks. He also played semipro football before focusing on his music.

Much of his songwriting content centers on drinking and partying and reflects his life as a touring musician; most of the writing itself is done on the road, where he collaborates with writers including Scotty Emerick, Bobby Pinson and Rivers Rutherford in between gigs.

Keith’s breakthrough hit “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” reached No. 1 in 1993 and became the most-played country song of the decade, with over three million radio performances. In 1999, “How Do You Like Me Now?!” crossed over to the pop Top 40 chart. In 2001, he was named Male Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, which also pronounced How Do You Like Me Now?! Album of the Year. Later that year his follow-up album Pull My Chain became his first No. 1 country album and first Top 10 pop album.

In 2002, Keith’s…

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