‘I Wanted to Do Something Special’: Darius Rucker Delivers Epic Tribute to Toby Keith at Legendary Grand Ole Opry

‘I Wanted to Do Something Special’: Darius Rucker Delivers Epic Tribute to Toby Keith at Legendary Grand Ole Opry

Country music star Darius Rucker was one of several performers to pay tribute to Toby Keith at the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday night after news that morning that Keith had finally lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 62.

The former Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer offered up “God Love Her” as his second song of the night, according to “real country fan” site Whiskey Riff.

Quinn Eaton, writing for the site, noted that the song had been Keith’s 18th No. 1 hit on the Billboard country charts after its 2008 release on Keith’s “That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy” album.

Rucker said that he chose it because it was his “favorite Toby Keith song,” according to Eaton.

The site posted a clip of the performance to TikTok.

@whiskeyriff Darius Rucker covering Toby Keith. // whiskeyriff.com #tobykeith #dariusrucker #opry #grandoleopry #nashville #countrymusic ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

“We woke up to some sad news this morning,” Rucker said by way of introducing the song. “Country music lost Toby Keith, and I wanted to do something special for Toby tonight. It’s one of his songs, my favorite Toby Keith song.

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“So this goes out to Toby,” he added. “R.I.P.”

Earlier in the evening, the venue had offered its own tribute to the country music legend, displaying a picture of Keith center stage, along with a written message.

“Toby Keith came to play this stage many times,” the Opry wrote, according to Eaton. “We loved when he would come to see us.

“Most recently, he was here when he visited the Opry House to to accept the first ever People’s Choice Country Icon Award. Toby’s career spanned 30 years, 40 million albums sold, 20 number one hits.

“His music will live on forever, and tonight, we’re remembering his many friends and family. Thank you for the music Toby.”

Other performers marked the evening in their own ways, the outlet noted.

Treaty Oak Revival, appearing for the first time at the Opry, dedicated “Ode to Bourbon” to the deceased star, for example, and songwriter Don Schlitz held up a red solo cup during his set, a reference to the Keith song of the same name.

Keith announced in an Instagram post on June 12, 2022, that he’d been diagnosed with stomach cancer “last fall.” At the time, he was optimistic that he’d tour again.

“I am looking forward to spending this time with my family,” he wrote. “But I will see the fans sooner or later. I can’t wait.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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