Yesterday the world awoke to the sad news of country legend Toby Keith passing after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer. If you were monitoring social media - as we were - you could see Nashville waking up to the story - and reacting online in real time. Unfortunately, some online reacted in an almost celebratory way to the news, but fortunately they were drowned out by those that praised the country star for being an original - a great songwriter, a friend and mentor, and a man who loved his country.
Some of the reactions from peers and friends online:
Dolly Parton: "It’s always hard when we lost our brothers and sisters in country music. Toby Keith was one of the greats in every way. He will be missed but his music and legacy will live on. Love, Dolly."
Carrie Underwood: "Saddle up the horses, Jesus, ‘cause a true blue COWBOY just made his ride up to heaven!!! Introduce him to all the Okies and sign that boy up for the choir! We’re gonna miss you, Toby, but my heart has no doubt that you are standing in the presence of our King right now!!! See you again someday, friend."
Alan Jackson: "Denise and I are saddened to hear about our friend @TobyKeith. Our prayers are with Tricia and the entire Keith family. - AJ"
Zach Bryan: "too many rides in my old man’s car listening to Toby Keith. really hard thing to hear rest in peace friend we love you."
Old Dominion: "Toby Keith was a true trail blazer. Authentic and heartfelt but always with a wink ‘til the end. He was larger than life in so many ways and his music will live on forever! Raising our red solos tonight—you will be missed by so many. Peace."
Randy Houser (along with an acoustic performance of "I Love This Bar"): @TobyKeith…An American icon. They do not make em like him everyday in my opinion. One of my favorites that he and @Scottyemerick wrote. It’s late at night or early in the morning but I wanted to sing one in his honor no matter what time it is. Rest In Peace. Job well done.
Dan + Shay (Along with an acoustic performance of "She Never Cried In Front Of Me"): "Used to cover to this song back in the early days. RIP to one of the greatest country music songwriters of all time. You’ll be missed, @tobykeith. ❤️"
Luke Bryan: "Just arriving at American idol and seeing the sad news in our country community. An iconic artist and a great man. Your songs turn every room into a good time."