Toby Keith to be inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame, votes were received the day after his death

The late Toby Keith is part of the 2024 Country Music Hall of Fame class of inductees. The country singer died at age 62 before hearing about the high honor he received.

On Monday, March 18, the 2024 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees were announced. Country star John Anderson was elected in the veterans-era category, while legendary guitarist James Burton was elected in the recording/or touring musician category.

It was also announced that Keith was picked as the modern-day inductee.

Toby Keith lost his fight with stomach cancer in February 2024, less than two years after going public with his diagnosis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)


Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association’s CEO, said in an announcement that the voting results were received on March 6. Keith died on March 5 after a long battle with stomach cancer.

“My heart sank that Tuesday afternoon knowing that we missed the chance to inform Toby while he was still with us, but I have no doubt that he’s smiling down on us, knowing that he’ll always be ‘as good as he once was,’” said Trahern per The Associated Press, referencing Keith’s 2005 hit.

Typically, artists are not allowed to be elected in the year that they pass. Since 2024 voting closed prior to Keith’s death, this rule did not apply to the “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer.

Blake Shelton was one of the many country stars who honored Toby Keith after his passing. (Mickey Bernal/NBC via Getty Images)


Keith’s impact on country music, with his many hit songs like “I Love This Bar” and “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue,” has led him to earn many high honors. In 2015, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and, in 2021, into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Keith received the National Medal of the Arts from President Trump in 2021 and a BMI Icon Award in 2022.

The news of Keith’s death sent shock waves through the country music world. Many stars like Jason Aldean, Luke Combs, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton paid tribute to the country singer on social media.

Many fans raised a red solo cup in honor of Toby Keith after his death. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Fans from around the country raised red solo cups, a reference to one of the country crooner’s popular songs, in honor of Keith following his death.

Keith will be honored posthumously at a ceremony in October at the CMA Theater in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ashlyn Messier is a writer for Fox News Digital. 

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