OFFSTAGE: Toby Keith Gives Jimmy Buffett Another Shot

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Who would ever say no to Toby Keith? Well, Jimmy Buffett did -- once. And I think he might regret that decision forever.

When Keith was in Chicago on Wednesday (Aug. 14) for the official grand opening of his I Love This Bar & Grill, we had the chance to talk about his duet with Buffett. It's called "Too Drunk to Karaoke," off Buffett's new album, Songs From St. Somewhere, due out Tuesday (Aug. 20).

"It's kind of a funny story, actually," Keith told me. "I'd tried to rope Jimmy into doing 'Red Solo Cup' with me, and he passed. He said, 'No, I don't think so.'"

Then later, when that song was a huge hit, Keith said Buffett realized what a mistake it was to turn him down. But he must've learned from that mistake because Buffett called Keith recently and asked him to join him on this new tune. "He said, 'You can tell me no if you want.' And I said, 'No way, Jimmy. I'm in.'"

Keith told me he's never really been too drunk to karaoke because he's just never been a karaoke kind of guy. But he's always been a cover song kind of guy.

"Back when it was just me and my acoustic guitar, and I was playing some little happy hour somewhere, I did all of his [Buffett] hits," Keith said. "'Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,' 'Come Monday,' 'Margaritaville.' I did those right along with all the Haggard and Willie covers, but the Buffett stuff was hard to beat."

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