Last Updated: February 6, 2024
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$400 Million
Jul 8, 1961 - Feb 5, 2024 (62 years old)
6 ft 2 in (1.905 m)
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Actor, Record producer, Lyricist, Composer, Artist, Songwriter, Guitarist
United States of America
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What was Toby Keith's Net Worth?

Toby Keith was an American country singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer who had a net worth of $400 million at the time of his death. Unfortunately, Toby Keith died on February 5, 2024, at the age of 62, after a battle with cancer.

From his earliest forays into the music scene, Toby Keith showcased an ability to tap into the pulse of America, weaving narratives that resonated deeply with his audience. His debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," released in the early '90s, quickly climbed the charts, becoming an instant country classic. This early success set the stage for a series of hits, establishing Keith as a mainstay in the country music scene. Songs like "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and "Beer for My Horses," a duet with Willie Nelson, further solidified his status as a hitmaker. During his career Toby saw 60 singles hit the country music top charts, including twenty #1 hits. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Toby Keith's music often reflected a deep sense of patriotism and love for America. This was especially evident in the post-9/11 era, with songs like "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)," which conveyed the nation's collective anger and resolve. Such tracks, while sometimes stirring controversy, underscored Keith's willingness to voice his convictions through his music.

Beyond his musical achievements, Toby Keith was also known for his entrepreneurial endeavors. Toby earned significantly more money during his career from these non-musical ventures than he ever did recording or performing music. ventured into various businesses, from a record label to restaurant chains, each echoing his distinct brand and identity. His "I Love This Bar & Grill" establishments, named after one of his hits, offer fans a blend of good food and music, encapsulating the Toby Keith experience. In 2004 he paid $400,000 for a 10% stake in a little-known record label called Big Machine Records. A year earlier, the label's founder, Scott Borchetta, signed a 15-year-old named Taylor Swift.

Moreover, Keith's philanthropic endeavors, particularly in support of veterans, demonstrate his commitment to giving back. Through numerous tours, charity events, and personal appearances, he consistently showed appreciation for the military community.

Early Life

Toby Keith Covel was born July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Oklahoma. He is one of three children (one girl and two boys) of Carolyn and Hubert Covel. As a kid, Toby visited his grandmother in the summers. She owned a Supper Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Toby was fascinated with the musicians who played in the supper club. He got his first guitar at age 8, did odd jobs around his grandma's club, and eventually got up on stage to play with the house band.

Toby and his siblings grew up in Moore, Oklahoma, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was the defensive end on the Moore High School football team. After graduating from high school, he worked in the oil fields as a derrick. Over time, he worked his way up to operations manager.

At 20, Toby formed the Easy Mony Band with a number of friends. The band played at local bars, and Toby continued to work in the oil fields as well.  He was laid off in 1982 when the oil industry his rough times. Toby then played defensive end for the semi-pro football team, the Oklahoma City Drillers. A couple of years later, Easy Money found some regional success and started playing in honky-tonks in Texas and Oklahoma.

Music Career

Toby went to Nashville in the early 1990s and busked on the city's infamous Music Row. He gave out copies of his demo tape to the city's many record companies. There was no interest in his demo, so he went back to Oklahoma. He had promised himself he'd have a recording contract by the time he was 30 or turn his career aspirations elsewhere. Then, as luck would have it, a fan of the Easy Money Band, who was a flight attendant, gave his demo tape to an executive from Mercury Records on a flight she was working. The executive loved Toby's sound and signed him to a recording contract.

In 1993, Toby's debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," hit number one on the country music charts. The song also cracked the top 100 on the pop music charts. By the end of the 1990s, "Should've Been a Cowboy" had more than three million plays on the radio. It was the most-played country song of the 1990s,, yes, even more than Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart."

Keith released his first four studio albums — 1993's "Toby Keith," 1994's "Boomtown," 1996's "Blue Moon," and 1997's "Dream Walkin'"  for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving Mercury in 1998. These albums all produced several top-ten singles. Keith signed to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 1998 and released his breakthrough single "How Do You Like Me Now?!" in late 1999. This song, the title track to his 1999 album of the same name, was the number-one country song of 2000 and one of several chart-toppers during his tenure on DreamWorks Nashville. His next three albums, "Pull My Chain," "Unleashed," and "Shock'n Y'all," produced three more number ones each, and all of the albums were certified four times Platinum.

Toby released a new album every year from 1993 to 2000. Each release sold at least 500,000 copies, and most sold many more. When his label rejected a number of songs off his 1999 album "How Do You Like Me Now," Toby negotiated the right to buy back the album from the label for $93,000. He then flipped the rights to DreamWorks for $200,000. "How Do You Like Me Now" went on to sell 3.1 million copies.

Keith released 19 studio albums, two Christmas albums, and five compilation albums. He sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. His 2002 album, "Unleashed," sold 3 million copies and included a hit duet with Willie Nelson titled "Beer for My Horses."

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Early Concert Earnings

Keith was paid $20,000 for his first record contract, and his eponymous first album was released in 1993. He performed 150 concerts between March and December of 1993. He made $5,000-$10,000 per night. When the album's second single started getting radio play in the middle of the tour, venues raised his fee to $20,000 per show.

Entrepreneurial Career

In 2004, Toby purchased a 10% stake in the record label Big Machine for $400,000. That investment may have been a gamble at the time, but it paid off big time. Big Machine went on to sign Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, and, most importantly, Taylor Swift. To this day, every time any of Big Machine's artists get paid, so does Toby Keith.

Shortly after founding his record labels, Toby was approached by a Las Vegas casino owner named Don Marrandino with a proposition. Marrandino wanted to put a Toby Keith-themed restaurant inside his casino and call it the "I Love This Bar and Grill."  By the end of 2004, it was one of the top 50 grossing restaurants in the United States.

For most people, this would be enough. But not Toby Keith. After hearing that his friend Sammy Hagar sold his Cabo Wabo tequila company for $80 million in 2007, Toby decided it was time to get into the booze business. He considered starting a Bourbon or vodka brand. Bourbon turned out to be difficult to produce at scale, and the vodka market seemed extremely saturated. So, he settled on Mezcal. Toby found a distributor and began sampling the various family-run mezcal distilleries. "Wild Shot" mezcal was launched in March 2011. By the end of the year, Wild Shot was the number one premium mezcal in the United States. The liquor arm of Toby's empire was the final part of a growing empire. An empire that earned him an estimated $60 – $100 million per year.

Personal Life

On March 24, 1984, Keith married Tricia Lucus. The couple has three children: Shelley (born in 1980, adopted by Keith in 1984), Krystal (born in 1985), and son Stelen (born in 1997). He also has two granddaughters and one grandson via his daughter Shelley.

On March 24, 2001, Keith's father was killed in a car accident. The incident, combined with the events of September 11, 2001, prompted Keith to write the controversial "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)," which was hugely popular, particularly among military personnel, but caused a rift between Keith and singer Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks.

On the philanthropic side of things, Keith filmed a PSA for Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged U.S. public schools. Keith supports Ally's House, a non-profit organization in Oklahoma designed to help children with cancer.

Dream Walkin' Farm

In Norman, Oklahoma, Toby owned a 300-acre estate that he called Dream Walkin' Farms. In addition to a sprawling 10,000 square foot mansion, the estate was a professional-level Thoroughbred horse breeder. The ranch also raises beef, pork and turkey, which is sold online.


In the middle of 2022, Toby revealed that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Unfortunately he succumbed to that cancer on February 5, 2024 at the age of 62.

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