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Oklahoma honors Toby Keith, an avid Sooners fan, with heartfelt tribute before basketball game


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The Oklahoma Sooners paid tribute to a local of the state, nation singer Toby Keith, who handed away Monday after a battle with abdomen most cancers. Keith was 62 years outdated. 

Keith was a widely known Sooner at coronary heart, having supported all Oklahoma athletics through the years as a local of Clinton. 

So, earlier than the Sooners’ males’s basketball recreation towards BYU on Tuesday evening, Oklahoma arrange a guitar with a purple OU solo cup – his signature ingesting receptacle which was the topic of considered one of his many hit songs – within the seat he held subsequent to athletic director Joe Castiglione behind the courtside basket.


Toby Keith at softball game

Toby Keith seems on throughout Sport One of many NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida State Seminoles at USA Softball Corridor of Fame Stadium on June 7, 2023 in Oklahoma Metropolis. (Ian Maule/Getty Photographs)

A second of silence was additionally held for Keith previous to tip-off. 

“The OU Athletics household is extremely saddened by the passing of our pricey good friend Toby Keith,” Oklahoma Athletics stated in a press release earlier Tuesday. “It’s a profoundly unhappy actuality to exist in a world the place Toby doesn’t. He introduced life and pleasure to each room he entered, and our hearts are dimmer at present with out him. 


“An American icon and a stalwart Sooner. A famous person expertise and a fierce good friend of our program. We thank him for the unwavering assist he at all times gave, his generosity as a human being and the numerous smiles and recollections he created right here in Oklahoma and around the globe.”

Keith’s household stated the nation star died peacefully on Monday, they wrote in a press release. 

“He fought his combat with grace and braveness,” it continued. “Please respect the privateness of his household right now.”

Keith revealed in June 2022 that he had been recognized with abdomen most cancers. 

Toby Keith on Jumbotron at Oklahoma football game

Nation music star Toby Keith, left, and former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops encourage Oklahoma Sooners followers earlier than a recreation towards the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Household Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Sept. 30, 2023 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Brian Bahr/Getty Photographs)

Keith had many nation music hits through the years, together with his breakout track, “Ought to’ve Been a Cowboy.” It was the most-played nation music track of the Nineties, enjoying 3 million occasions on radio stations. 

He additionally touted hits like “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “As Good As I As soon as Was,” “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson, and “My Listing.”

Keith can be well-known for his track, “Courtesy of the Crimson, White and Blue (The Indignant American),” following the 9/11 terrorist assaults.

Patriotism was a predominant pillar in Keith’s life, having gone on 11 USO excursions to go to and play for troops serving abroad. He additionally confirmed assist for army members in varied different methods, whether or not it was via songs like “American Soldier,” or utilizing his philanthropic efforts to lift cash for them. 

Toby Keith at concert

Musician Toby Keith performs in the course of the Oklahoma Tornado Reduction Live performance to learn United Manner of Central Oklahoma Might Tornadoes Reduction Fund at Gaylord Household Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on July 6, 2013 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Rick Diamond/Getty Photographs for Shock Ink)


Keith was loyal to his nation and dependable to his residence, one thing the Sooners can actually vouch for after his years of assist. 


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