Tim McGraw, 56, performed at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Orlando, Florida, and made a heartful tribute to the departed Toby Keith during the concert. This came on a day that followed Keith's death on Monday.
In a solemn show, McGraw's audience sees how much he has affection for Keith, his real friend. He spoke about how in their early days in the business, on tour buses, in basketball games where Keith's competitive nature would come out.
He lovingly ribbed the crowd about playing basketball with Keith, during which tough-as-nails but hilarious Keith would take the opportunity to ridicule him all over the court. Beyond laughs, McGraw certainly adored the authenticity and artistic integrity of Keith, while he admired his uncompromising attitude of standing true to all alien opinions.
The highlight of the evening was McGraw's performance of his 2015 hit, "Live Like You Were Dying," which he dedicated to Keith and his family. Emotion seized the audience, and suddenly everyone was singing along - the unifying force of the experience.
McGraw then took to Instagram where he thanked the crowd in Hollywood, Florida for having turned out to celebrate Toby Keith, a move that touched deeply, both the artist and his fans.
Toby Keith's Final Days
Country music stalwart Toby Keith has died at the age of 62 after a battle with stomach cancer diagnosed in the fall of 2021.
His family stated on social media. For example, the tribute video from McGraw was quickly hailed by fans and many of his fellow celebrities, such as Brett Favre, a close friend to Keith. Favre is said to have made a touching comment, referring to the tribute as "awesome." This comes shortly after Favre also revealed in an interview with TMZ Sports details about his last conversation with Keith.
Favre described the man's last days as accepting and at peace in the face of the medical onslaught, which was a chemotherapy regiment that Keith felt caused more harm than the cancer itself. Keith expressed gratitude for his career, and being able to play until the end.
McGraw's performance is a larger gesture of remembrance for Keith, who he wrote off as his "brother" in an Instagram post. In the post, McGraw praised Keith's fearless, maverick approach to life and music, reinforcing his continuing respect for Keith's artistry and courage.
And with these words, in closing his eulogy, McGraw truly gave voice to that shared sense of loss and admiration in one simple, stark statement: "We all will miss you, brother."