Toby Keith Raised His 3 ‘Great Kids’ Adopting His Wife’s Daughter – Only One of Them Followed in His Footsteps

Toby Keith, the acclaimed country singer-songwriter hailing from Oklahoma, known for chart-topping hits like “Made in America” and Who’s Your Daddy?” succumbed to stomach cancer on the night of February 5, 2024.

At 62 years old, his untimely demise sent shockwaves through the music industry and among his global fanbase, who had been closely following his career and his battle with cancer. Beyond his illustrious music career, Keith was a dedicated family man.

Toby Keith and wife Tricia Covel attend the American Country Awards on December 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Source: Getty Images

His romance with his wife, Tricia Lucus, sparked in an Oklahoma nightclub in 1981. His charismatic personality captivated Lucus, leading to their courtship. During this period, Keith balanced his days between working in the oil fields and performing at local bars with his band, Easy Money, during the evenings.

After three years of dating, they exchanged vows on March 24, 1984. Keith embraced fatherhood by adopting Shelley, Lucus’ daughter from a previous relationship, and they were blessed with their daughter, Krystal, in 1985. Their family was completed with the arrival of their son, Stelen, in 1997.

Shelley Rowland, Toby Keith, Tricia Covel, and Krystal Keith attend the SwingDish Launch Event at The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas on August 18, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Source: Getty Images

When the oil industry collapsed, Keith seized the opportunity to concentrate on his music. Lucus stood by him despite the financial hardships, managing family responsibilities while fending off creditors. Keith’s big break arrived in 1993 when his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” ascended to the top of the country charts, eventually becoming the most-played country song of the ’90s.

As Keith’s fame escalated, Lucus remained his steadfast supporter. He revealed in an interview how Lucus had faced numerous suggestions to persuade him to secure a “real job.” However, Lucus believed in his talent and encouraged him to chase his musical dreams.

Keith’s career trajectory soared as he accumulated accolades, secured multimillion-dollar endorsements, launched a liquor line, and established his own restaurant chain, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. Keith ensured his fame never overshadowed his family life.

In 2001, Keith clinched the Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles and was also crowned Top Male Vocalist. Even before his success, Lucus was pragmatic about their finances. She once shared, “It is nice to get a bouquet of flowers, but I’ve told him, ‘Save the money. Roses die in five to seven days. Buy me an outfit or take me to dinner.'”

By mid-2001, Keith’s financial situation had markedly improved. With 11 hits that had topped the charts for a span of over eight years and a net worth estimated between $10 to $25 million, he owned around 40 Thoroughbred racehorses and a 160-acre farm outside Oklahoma City, where he was constructing a new 8,500-sq.-ft. home for his family.

Even then, his family remained his primary focus. He once said, “It’s really hard for me to leave my kids since my father passed away.” His father, H.K. Covel, a retired oil company executive, died from a heart attack in March 2001 at the age of 64.

Keith raised his three children with pride, love, and dedication. Despite his fame, he prioritized keeping his family close and safeguarded. He once said, “I was raised by good parents, and I have great kids.” His second daughter Krystal, who is a mother to two daughters later followed in her father’s footsteps and is a musician in her own right.

Keith publicly announced his cancer diagnosis in a June 2022 social media post, where he detailed his journey of undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery over the past six months. Despite the challenges, he maintained an optimistic outlook, stating, “So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover, and relax.”

He also expressed his eagerness to return to his fans, “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.” In September 2023, during the People’s Choice Country Awards red carpet event, Keith candidly shared his experiences with cancer, likening it to “a little bit of a roller coaster.”

He acknowledged the fluctuating nature of his health, yet his resilience remained unshaken. That evening, he was bestowed with the Country Icon Award, a recognition of his substantial impact on country music.

During his last Christmas with his family, which includes his wife, children, and grandchildren, he posted a picture that depicted happy times with everybody wearing a smile. He captioned the post, “Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family to yours. -T.”

The news of Toby Keith’s passing was confirmed through a heartfelt statement on his Instagram page. It revealed that he departed peacefully, in the comforting presence of his family. The statement read, “He fought his fight with grace and courage.” It also requested that people respect the privacy of his family at this time of grief.

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