PHOTOS: Country Icon Toby Keith and Wife Tricia Lucus Shine During Rare Red Carpet Outing
Toby Keith is set to receive the Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Country Awards.
Toby Keith and Wife Tricia; Photos by Allen Clark, NBC
The country music icon was seen donning a black slim-fitting suit with a white button down and traditional cowboy hat while his other half stunned in an all-white, lace ensemble.
The star-studded event marks yet another date night for lovebirds who have been by each other’s sides since 1981 when they first met in an Oklahoma nightclub.
“I was 19 and he was 20,” Tricia told People. “He was just one of those larger-than-life guys, full of confidence.”
Dancing the night away led to them dating for three years before tying the knot on March 24, 1984. The singer adopted Shelley, Tricia’s daughter from a previous marriage, after the wedding. They later welcomed their daughter, Krystal and their son Stelen.
The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer’s iconic career will be recognized tonight during the People’s Choice Country Awards when he receives the Country Icon Award.
This award honors Keith for “his decades-long career as a groundbreaking musician, humanitarian and entrepreneur” and recognizes Keith’s 30-year career as a musician, philanthropist and entrepreneur.
The People’s Choice Country Awards previously dubbed Toby Keith “a pioneer in country music and one of the most influential artists of all time.”
“We’re overjoyed to honor legendary artist Toby Keith with the first-ever Country Icon Award,” Cassandra Tryon, Senior Vice President, Entertainment Live Events, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said. “As a talented songwriter and powerhouse performer, Keith has touched the hearts of fans across the globe. His illustrious career and passion for philanthropy has cemented his place as an icon in country music history.”
With 32 No.1 singles and 40 million albums sold, Toby Keith is regarded as one of country music’s biggest hitmakers. He wrote a chart-topping hit every year for 20 consecutive years, including “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” “I Love This Bar,” “Beer For My Horses,” and “As Good As I Once Was.”
He is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (having already been inducted into the all-genre Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015), and was honored with the Academy of Country Music’s prestigious Merle Haggard Spirit Award.
Throughout his career, the Oklahoma native received the BMI Icon Award as well as the BMI Country Songwriter of the Year award three times, and his hit single “As Good As I Once Was” was awarded BMI’s Country Song of the Year in 2006.
His music has garnered more than 10 billion streams and 100 million terrestrial radio spins to date.
Keith’s most rewarding experiences, however, have come from giving back locally, nationally, and abroad. His annual golf classics fund the Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for families of children dealing with critical illnesses, and his 11 USO tours have enhanced the lives of nearly 256,000 troops and military families.
In 2014, he was given the Spirit of the USO Award for his work with the organization, which has so far included 11 tours and more than 285 events in over 18 countries. In an even more personal instance of philanthropy, he became the face of his hometown after it was ravaged by a tornado, shouldering the cleanup, and headlining the 2013 OK Twister Relief Concert.
During the show, Keith will also take the stage to deliver his first award show performance since the 2017 Academy of Country Music Honors held at the Ryman Auditorium. Tonight’s appearance comes amidst his battle with stomach cancer, which led the country singer to cancel all of his tour dates in June of 2022. In a recent health update, he expressed his hopes to eventually return to the road.
The first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards will take place at the iconic Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday (Sept. 28).
Throughout the show, awards for 12 categories will be given out, including People’s Artist of 2023, Male Artist of 2023, Female Artist of 2023, Group/Duo of 2023, New Artist of 2023, Social Country Star of 2023, Song of 2023, Collaboration Song of 2023, Crossover Song of 2023, Album of 2023, Music Video of 2023 and Concert Tour of 2023.
Toby Keith will be honored with the Country Icon Award and Wynonna Judd is set to be celebrated with the Country Champion Award.
The coveted awards show will feature performances from Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay, HARDY, Jelly Roll, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Toby Keith, Wynonna Judd and more.
Adam Doleac, Blake Shelton, Brothers Osborne, Carly Pearce, Chris Young, Dustin Lynch, Gabby Barrett, Hunter Hayes, Jessie James Decker, Josh Ross, Kameron Marlowe, Kristin Cavallari, Lady A, Lauren Alaina, Leanne Morgan, Mickey Guyton, Nikki Garcia, Scotty McCreery and The War And Treaty are also set to take the stage as presenters.
Little Big Town will serve as the host of the show. “We are honored to host the inaugural ‘People’s Choice Country Awards,’ especially on one of our most beloved stages in the entire world,” the group previously shared in a press release. “We look forward to welcoming so many of our talented peers to take the Opry stage for this magical night of music.”
The 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards is set to air live on NBC and Peacock on September 28 at 8/7c simultaneously on NBC and Peacock.
The livestream will also air on Peacock, PCA Twitter, NBC Twitter/Facebook/YouTube, TODAY All Day/Twitter, E! News Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/E!Online, Access Twitter/YouTube, and Circle TV Network and Circle social platforms, featuring red carpet arrivals, backstage chats and more.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.