Jelly Roll, T-Pain Tribute Toby Keith at Stagecoach 2024 with Iconic Song

Jelly Roll and T-Pain unite for a musical tribute

by Nouman Rasool
Jelly Roll, T-Pain Tribute Toby Keith at Stagecoach 2024 with Iconic Song
© Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Jelly Roll and T-Pain delivered a powerful tribute to the late Toby Keith during the 2024 Stagecoach Festival, showcasing a heartfelt rendition of Keith's iconic song "Should've Been a Cowboy." Jelly Roll, a 39-year-old singer known for his track "Need a Favor," took to the Indio, California stage on Friday, stirring emotions with a performance honouring Keith's musical legacy and celebrating his influence on artists across genres.

The tribute was poignant, particularly because Toby Keith passed away at 62 in February following a stomach cancer diagnosis. Before unveiling their cover, Jelly Roll and T-Pain released it exclusively on Amazon Music, making a significant impact by aligning their version with Keith's authentic sound and heartfelt lyricism.

In a revealing interview with Variety, Jelly Roll shared his connection to Keith’s music, stating that tracks like "Should've Been a Cowboy" inspired his transition from rap to country music. "He was unapologetically Oklahoma, a real trailblazer in the music industry," Jelly Roll reflected on Keith's influence.

He described Keith as a mentor, albeit from afar, whose individualistic style and determination left a lasting impression on him.

Stagecoach's Heartfelt Homage

Adding to the uniqueness of the performance, Jelly Roll chose T-Pain as a surprise guest, a move intended to astonish fans and enrich the tribute.

T-Pain, who shared a memorable experience with Keith at the 2009 CMT Awards, also admired Keith’s warmth and humor. This shared history made their collaborative performance at Stagecoach not just a musical act, but a heartfelt homage to a beloved figure in the country music scene.

The performance also featured a collaborative cover of DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," before transitioning into Keith's hit, highlighting the versatile talents of both artists. In addition to their musical tribute, Jelly Roll and T-Pain announced that proceeds from their cover would be donated to the Toby Keith Foundation, further honoring Keith's legacy by supporting his charitable endeavors.

The Stagecoach set was interspersed with other collaborative acts, including performances with ERNEST and Maddie & Tae, and a sweet family moment where Jelly Roll and his wife, Bunnie Xo, along with the audience, sang "Happy Birthday" to his daughter Bailee on the brink of her 16th birthday.