Tim McGraw honors the late Toby Keith with emotional performance of “Live Like You’re Dying”


Tim McGraw Toby Keith
YouTube Source: Ashley Pryor, AXS TV

Legendary country music star Toby Keith died earlier this month at age 62 after a long battle with stomach cancer. Later, fellow country music singer Tim McGraw paid tribute to him with an incredibly emotional rendition of his song “Live Like You’re Dying.”

Keith honors McGraw

Three days after Keith’s death, McGraw interrupted his Hard Rock Live concert at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in Davie, Florida to dedicate one of his most beloved songs to Keith.

“Toby and I got to know each other quite well early in our careers. We spent a lot of time on the bus. We played a few shows together…” McGraw began. “He was a really, really, really good guy. A great artist, and I always respected the way he did things his way and didn’t care what anyone else thought.

“So bear with me if I can’t make it. Guys, help me,” he added, becoming visibly emotional. “But I want to dedicate this song to Toby and his family.”

The audience broke into thunderous applause as the band began opening “Live Like You’re Dying.” McGraw was so choked up that he found himself unable to sing, so he raised the microphone to the audience to let them lead the song’s opening lyrics.

See the powerful performance for yourself in the video below.

Related: Reba McEntire honors Toby Keith as she prepares to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl

McGraw’s previous tribute to Keith

McGraw also took to social media to pay tribute to Keith following his death on February 5.

“Our self-titled debut came out on the same day, April 20, 1993… Toby and I spent quite a bit of time together early in our career,” McGraw wrote on Instagram. “We had a lot of great times and conversations about what we wanted out of our careers and our lives.”

“He was a maverick,” he added. “He did things his way, on his terms, a true artist. I have always and will always have enormous respect for his artistry, his dedication and courage to do his own thing. We will all miss you, brother.

Related: Brett Favre Reveals Sad Details About Toby Keith’s Final Days: ‘He Was Just Tired’

Tributes to Keith pour in

Fans were shocked when Keith’s family announced his passing the morning after his death.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night, February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his battle with grace and courage,” they said in a statement. “Please respect his family’s privacy at this time.”

Since then, more tributes have poured in for Keith.

“Toby Keith was a patriot, you know, and he didn’t care who had a problem with it,” country music star John Rich told Fox News.

“Waking up to the terrible news that our friend and legend @tobykeith has passed away from cancer,” Rich later added means of social communication. “He was a true patriot, a first-class songwriter and a great guy. We will miss him greatly.”

Blake Shelton, whose career was helped by Keith decades ago, also honored Keith.

“Even though I knew about your struggle these past few months, I never imagined this day,” he said, according to NBC News. “Anyone who knew you knows what I mean. You were the toughest man I ever met. Thank you, brother, for being a friend, a hero and an inspiration. There will never be another Toby Keith.”

Keith was a true legend and there will never be another like him. What do you think of McGraw’s tribute to him? Let us know in the comments section.

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