CMT Music Awards Honor Toby Keith With Special Tribute and Performances by Lainey Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, and More

While the CMT Music Awards honored country singers throughout the night and celebrated their accomplishments over the past year, the evening was more than awards. In February, country music lost an icon when Toby Keith passed away after battling stomach cancer. At the time, countless celebrities and singers took a moment to remember the star and the legacy he left behind. Not wanting to remember Keith with a simple picture or speech, the CMT Music Awards pulled out all the stops when it came to one of the biggest names in country music. 

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Taking the stage to remember Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Lainey Wilson, and Sammy Hager honored the country singer with special covers of songs like “I Love This Bar”, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”, and “How Do You Like Me Now”. With powerful vocals and a room full of love, the celebration seemed fitting for a man who not only defined a genre but seemed to encompass it. 

With Lukas Nelson and Roger Clemens contributing to the tribute, fans showered the late singer with love and praise as Brooks & Dunn covered Keith’s “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”. Comments included… “Never would’ve thought to put horns on “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” and it’s PERFECTION.” Another comment read, “Words cannot explain how much I love @BrooksAndDunn.”

Throughout his time in the spotlight, Keith gained over 30 CMT Music Awards nominations. While winning a few, the singer also performed at the awards 13 times. But that wasn’t all as he even helped host the event back in 2003 and 2012. 

[RELATED: The Meaning Behind the Song Toby Keith Called “So Stupid It’s Good,” “Red Solo Cup”]

Roger Clemens Post Heartfelt Message About His Friendship With Toby Keith

While taking part in the tribute, back in February, Clemens made sure to remember his friendship with Keith. Posting several pictures of the two together, Clemens took a moment to honor not a country legend, but his friend. He wrote, “I am so heartbroken with the loss of my good friend Big Dog Daddy. A TRUE friend. When you first met Toby he made you feel like he’s known you for years. There’s no one on this earth that loved his country more. (NO ONE!) A great talent, and gentle giant that took no shit from anybody.  He always picked one side of the fence! He loved sports, just about as much as he loved music.”

Losing a close friend, Clemens ended his heartfelt message, writing, “I will miss talking late night baseball with my dude. Rest assured Big Dog I will be singing your songs any chance I get!”

(Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)

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