Jason Aldean Toby Keith
Source YouTube: Officer Tatum, AXS TV

Jason Aldean will be paying tribute to the late great country music star Toby Keith at the Academy of Country Music Awards tonight.

Aldean To Honor Keith

People Magazine reported that Aldean, 47, took to his Instagram Story earlier this week to say that he is “honored” to be paying tribute to Keith, who died of stomach cancer back in February at the age of 62. Aldean revealed that he will be singing Keith’s hit song “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” at the awards show.

“I think Toby was a guy for a lot of us in the business – well, I’ll speak for myself. I think he was a guy that a lot of us looked up to,” Aldean told Fox News.

“For me personally, he was a guy that I feel like … just always spoke his mind,” he added. “He said what he thought, whether it was the popular opinion or not.”

Aldean went on to say that Keith was someone who was always going to “speak his mind,” even if it meant saying something that would land him in trouble. Aldean found this to be “inspiring,” as he also wants to be someone who speaks his mind in the country music world.

“Just being not afraid to speak your mind, stand up for what you believe in,” he explained. “Whether other people agree with it or not, be who you are and be unapologetic about it. And I think that’s pretty good advice.”

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Aldean Loves Keith’s Music

Aldean is also a fan of Keith’s music. He described the late singer as “one of the best songwriters that’s come through town in a long time.”

“And anybody that’s around that long has that kind of longevity to their career, I mean, that kind of speaks for itself,” he continued.

Keith died on February 5, nearly two years after he revealed his stomach cancer diagnosis to the world in June of 2022. “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” was one of his biggest hits. It was the most-played country song of the 1990s after being played on the radio over three million times.

Keith’s other hit songs include “I Love This Bar,” “As Good as I Once Was,” “Beer for My Horses” and “How Do You Like Me Now?!”

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Keith’s History With ACM Awards

It’s fitting that Keith would be honored at the ACM Awards, as he was named entertainer of the year multiple times throughout his career. He won a total of 14 ACM Awards, including top male vocalist and album of the year. Keith also won seven Grammy Awards as well as many other accolades.

Keith continued performing right until the very end. He took the stage for the last time back in December, two months before his passing. Variety reported that Keith performed some of his greatest hits at Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas on December 14.

Keith was a true legend, and there will never be another one like him. If you want to see Aldean’s tribute to Keith, be sure to tune into the ACM Awards on Amazon Prime. It will be streaming live for free at 8 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CDT / 5 p.m. PDT.

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