Carrie Underwood Praises Toby Keith for His Deep Love of Oklahoma

Carrie Underwood loved a lot about Toby Keith, but especially where he was from. The two singers are both from the same state, Oklahoma, creating a shared bond between the two that went far beyond country music.

“There are so many things that can be said about Mr. Toby Keith,” Underwood tells her record label. “I mean, obviously, he has had such a monumental career. He has some of the biggest songs that ever, ever were or probably ever will be in country music, and obviously, has built up that legacy for himself that will live on. But I think one of the best things about Toby is his love for Oklahoma. He’s a proud Okie, and I feel like that’s something that always connected us.

“We’d talk about it,” she continues. “He’s one of the ones, he never left. No matter how big and famous he got, he was gonna stay in Oklahoma, and he was always the first one there when disaster would strike – tornado or whatever it was. He was the first one trying to rally the troops or raise money or help out in any way he could. I feel like that’s one of the things that I respect the most about him — he never forgot where he came from and has been such a stellar example to the rest of us to do the same.”

Underwood also spoke about Keith’s strong faith, which he said he relied on as he dealt with his cancer diagnosis.

“He, of course, will be missed, but I know full, full well where he is right now,” Underwood says. “He’s with Jesus, and I for one look forward to hearing him sing again someday. So, prayers and comfort to his family. We’re gonna miss ya, buddy, but we’ll see ya on the other side.”

Underwood also spoke out about Keith’s passing on social media, shortly after the news was announced.

“Saddle up the horses, Jesus, ‘cause a true blue COWBOY just made his ride up to heaven!!!” Underwood wrote. “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.”

It was Underwood who presented Keith with the BMI Icon Award in 2022.

“It was artists like you that taught kids like me that greatness is possible,” Underwood said as part of her speech honoring Keith.

Keith’s family just announced that they will hold a private memorial for him in the near future, with a public service to be held at a later date.

Read ‘Toby Keith: 11 Things to Know About the Patriotic Singer’ here.