Toby Keith has built quite the legacy in his 20-plus year career, from countless chart toppers and hit music videos to a clothing line, a chain of restaurants and now an astonishing 17th studio album titled Drinks After Work. The singer agrees these are among his life-defining moments, and the objective from here on is simple.
“I’ve accomplished all my goals,” Keith admitted to CMT Hot 20 Countdown . “I have to go find new goals. I have no accomplishments left other than just being the best human being I can be and having fun and living out my life.
“It’s really hard to write about being complacent,” he continued. “I work hard every day. I write 50 songs a year. I still tour. I’ve never missed an album, but I don’t have anything else to shoot for. I’ve taken it all down.”
Even with his level of career achievement, Keith continues making music and credits a divine gift as the reason.
“The good Lord blessed me to be a writer,” he said. “So if everything went away tomorrow and I didn’t have anything left — [if] I couldn’t sing and there was no more selling albums and no one bought any tickets, no one wanted a T-shirt — I would still be whatever I was doing, be walking around and hear something and go, ‘Phew, that sounded like a song.’”
Ultimately, Keith realizes a new generation of fans will arrive whose taste in country music could be different — likelihood he understands.
“When we were having hits, the older guys were going ‘Oh, I can’t believe this is what they’re calling country,’” he said. “I’m not that guy, I don’t care. If it’s time for me to ride off into the sunset, I don’t care. Let it change. It’s always going to change.
“Every 20 years, there’s going to be a new cycle of youth come through, and the youth’s always going to win out every time. When it’s your time to ride on, ride on. But I had my run, and I’m still getting it, so when it’s time for me to ride off, I will.”
For more, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 26-27) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.