Prolific country singer and superstar Toby Keith, who will perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration, bangs out the hits. The Oklahoma-born 55-year-old released his first album, called simply Toby Keith, in 1993 (and you’ve got to check out the hair). Nearly a quarter century later Keith has released 17 studio albums, a couple of holiday albums, and some greatest hits records — and sold at least 40 million records. Before Keith got started crushing the charts, he played semi-pro football and worked in the oil fields. Keith’s not an easy guy to pigeonhole, with his broad experience. He was 30 before he hit it big in music.
Keith characterizes himself as a “straight-shooter” who thinks politics are a problem, not an answer. He considers himself foremost a patriot, something he says he’ll never apologize for. Keith has praised Barack Obama (“looks like a great leader”), though that good opinion did not extend to supporting Obama over John McCain in 2008. A former Democrat, Keith reportedly became an independent during the George W. Bush era. He thought Sarah Palin presented an attractive political option, especially for women, though he was “never a huge John McCain fan.” Keith once said of Palin: “Palin’s about the least political-looking, acting, resembling person that’s ever run for office.” Well, until now.