Country music singer Jason Aldean mourned the death of iconic singer and songwriter Toby Keith, who passed away earlier this week after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer.
Keith, who first rose to fame with the 1993 hit song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” never lost his status as one of the genre’s most prominent faces in the three decades after his big break.
The news of his death was announced on his social media pages early Tuesday morning.
While reacting to the news on the social media platform X, Aldean expressed how influential Keith’s music and persona were.
“Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing. Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans,” Aldean stated.
The singer added, “Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man.”
Aldean also shared three photos of him with the late icon — one of them playing on stage together:
Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing. Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans. Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man. pic.twitter.com/M2RwMUFdKx
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) February 6, 2024
Keith, an international star and businessman, was loved nationwide for his music, but he never strayed too far from his roots as an Oklahoma kid.
He was honored on Tuesday evening with a special tribute from the University of Oklahoma’s athletic department before and during the Sooners’ men’s basketball game against Brigham Young University.
Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione was pictured by an empty table where an acoustic guitar had been placed in a chair and situated behind one of Keith’s signature OU hats and a red Solo cup with the school’s logo printed on it.
Keith released the hit song “Red Solo Cup” in October 2011.
The Sooners won Tuesday night’s game against the Cougars 82-66 in honor of one of the team’s biggest fans.
Keith was a lifelong fan of Oklahoma sports and grew up just down the road from Norman in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.
— Toby Keith (@tobykeith) June 9, 2023
Who’s ready for Sooner Season? #OU
📸: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports pic.twitter.com/Q2FKZXFcst
— Toby Keith (@tobykeith) September 3, 2022
— Toby Keith (@tobykeith) March 10, 2023
Keith’s family said Tuesday morning in a statement he fought his battle against cancer with “grace and courage.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.