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Toby Keith

Comfortable in his own skin. An easy manner in front of the camera. Personable, charming and subtle -- with a charismatic twinkle in his eye. This is the Toby Keith movie goers came to know in his 2006 feature film debut Broken Bridges. Surprised may not be too strong a word to describe the reaction from critics who praised the performance. And why not? Keith's smooth transition from multi-platinum musical performer to engaging leading man in a major motion picture belied the difficulty of a move that has left many before him stumbling.

This time out, the movie press shouldn't be caught unawares as, for his second act, Keith taps his comedic side for the outrageously funny, buddy-cop road trip feature Beer For My Horses. His legions of fans certainly won't be astonished to learn of Keith's humorous streak -- it's been at the center of some of his biggest hits. And speaking of hits, Beer For My Horses is actually inspired by one of Keith's longest-running No. 1 singles, leading to the singer/songwriter's first foray into screenwriting. To suggest the chart-topping entertainer is more deeply involved in this project is understatement of the highest order.

Toby Keith is, of course, one of the most recognizable and successful entertainers in music. This decade alone, Keith's songs have spent more than a year at No. 1 on the singles charts. He has sold more than 26 million CDs since Dec. 31, 1999 -- with over 31 million in career sales. He's one of the most awarded artists in any genre as a singer, songwriter and entertainer.

His career shot from the gate with his 1993 debut album, which sold two million copies. Over the next several years and albums, however, Keith found his career sliding back into the pack of contenders as he wrestled with his record label. Dropped by Mercury Records in 1999, Keith took a chance and signed with independent upstart DreamWorks. Almost immediately his fortunes turned and a succession of career changing songs followed -- How Do You Like Me Now?! I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight and I Wanna Talk About Me among them.

His next release, "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)," became an anthem in the war on terror and lit a media firestorm. In retrospect however, the song perhaps best serves as a reminder of Keith's ability to capture raw emotion in a way that resonates with millions of music lovers. And he has continued making those connections.

Keith kept turning out hits like Who's Your Daddy? I Love This Bar, American Soldier and As Good As I Once Was. And he reeled off multi-platinum album after multi-platinum album -- Unleashed, Shock'N Y'all, Greatest Hits 2, Honkytonk University.

In 2005, Toby decided to step out of the major label system, negotiating his release from Universal and opening his own Show Dog Nashville label. Never before had an artist at the peak of his career managed a transition to his own record label, with the 1962 founding of A&M Records as perhaps the most comparable launch. The results, however, speak for themselves.

Get Drunk And Be Somebody, A Little Too Late, High Maintenance Woman, Love Me If You Can and She's A Hottie are among the hit singles, with platinum cash register bells ringing for White Trash With Money, Big Dog Daddy and Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits. Even the Broken Bridges soundtrack made chart history with its release. Following his well-received debut in Bridges, Keith tapped an idea he'd been brewing since filming the video for his six-week No. 1 hit Beer For My Horses, a duet with the legendary Willie Nelson. His notion of a comedy-adventure featuring two sheriff's deputies on a fun-filled journey to rescue a kidnapped girlfriend from an evil drug lord took shape as he teamed on a script with celebrated comedian and Beer For My Horses co-star Rodney Carrington.

Fans of Keith's music are well-versed in his gift for humor, both in his music and in his videos. Whether it's playing the straight man to Cledus T. Judd's clown in Who's Your Daddy? or laying out for some self-deprecating comedy in As Good As I Once Was, Toby has never taken himself too seriously to have a good laugh. And audiences will appreciate that propensity for comedy when they see Beer For My Horses.

Toby (Rack) and Rodney (Lonnie) are joined by Claire Forlani (Rack's girlfriend), Greg Serano (drug lord Tito), Tom Skerrit (Sherrif Landry) and Ted Nugent (deputy Skunk) on screen. Willie Nelson and Barry Corbin also appear. Beer For My Horses is produced by Toby Keith and Donald Zuckerman and is executive produced by TK Kimbrell, Jeff Yapp and Leslie Belzberg. Directed by Michael Salomon. Roadside Attractions will release the film theatrically on August 8th.

When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune And we'll all meet back at the local saloon We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses. – Beer For My Horses, Toby Keith and Scott Emerick

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.

Toby Keith Facts

Birth Name Toby Keith Covel
BirthdayJuly 8, 1961 (61)
BirthplaceClinton, Oklahoma, USA
Height6' 3" (1m91)  How tall is Toby Keith compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
All the Way
Beer For My Horses
Robin Hood: The Complete Series
24 Hour Party People
Broken Bridges
Willie Nelson and Friends
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All
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