Luke Combs Honors Toby Keith at the Ryman [WATCH]

Luke Combs honored Toby Keith with a touching tribute at the Ryman Auditorium. The North Carolina native performed a private show at the Ryman on Tuesday, February 6, the same day Keith’s passing was announced.

“Played the Ryman in Nashville last night so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to honor a true icon,” Combs captioned the video, showing him singing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” “Thank you for everything, Toby. We’ll miss you.”


Played the Ryman in Nashville last night so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to honor a true icon. Thank you for everything, Toby. We’ll miss you.

Posted by Luke Combs on Wednesday, February 7, 2024


Combs wasn’t planning on doing a Keith song, but obliged due to requests from several people in the audience.

“I’m glad you guys asked because we didn’t know if we should do a Toby song,” Combs said (via CMT). “It’s good to know you love Toby’s music as much as we do.”

Combs’ Ryman Auditorium performance came only a couple of days after he performed “Fast Car” with Tracy Chapman at the Grammy Awards, one of the standout performances of the evening.

“[Tracy Chapman] is one of my heroes and one of the reasons I started singing,” Combs said from the stage, before launching into an acoustic performance of the song. “Singing with Tracy was incredible. I did my best. Now you’ve heard Tracy do it, which is way better. But now you get to hear me do it.”

Keith passed away on February 5, after battling  stomach cancer, with several artists expressing their shock and sadness on social media.

“It breaks my heart to hear about the passing of Toby Keith,” Thomas Rhett wrote. “I’ve known Toby since I was a kid. He used to run around in the same circle as my dad. When I signed my first record deal in 2012, Toby was the very first person to take me on tour… I watched his show every single night just trying to soak up as much as I could.

“I learned so much about how to write songs, how to perform, and how to entertain from Toby Keith,” he added. “I am so honored to say that I got to share the stage with him. Toby – I hope your soul rests easy brother.”

“Even though I knew about your battle these last few months I still never imagined this day,” Blake Shelton said. “Anyone who knew you knows what I mean. You were the toughest man I ever met. Thank you brother for being a friend, a hero and an inspiration. There will never be another Toby Keith.”

“Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing,” Jason Aldean wrote. “Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans. Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man.”

Funeral services for Keith have yet to be announced.