Toby Keith and Tricia Lucus: Inside Their Love Story

Toby Keith is known for his big personality and that’s exactly what caught the attention of his wife Tricia Lucus…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 24, 2020

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Tricia Lucus and Toby Keith; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Toby Keith is known for his big personality and that’s exactly what caught the attention of his wife Tricia Lucus when they first met at an Oklahoma nightclub in 1981.

“I was 19 and he was 20,” Tricia told People. “He was just one of those larger-than-life guys, full of confidence.”

They danced together and began dating shortly after. During this time, Keith (whose real last name is Covel) would spend his days working in the oil fields and his nights performing at local bars with his band Easy Money.

After dating for three years, the couple tied the knot on March 24, 1984. The singer adopted Shelley, Tricia’s daughter from a previous marriage, after the wedding and in 1985, they welcomed their daughter, Krystal. Their son Stelen arrived years later, in 1997.

The oil fields “went bust” soon after and Keith decided to use the opportunity to focus on his music.

Times were getting a bit tough on the home front, however. Tricia was juggling raising a family while the creditors hounded them.

“He’d say, ‘Trish, one of these days, my time is coming. Hang in there,’” Tricia recalled.

His time came in 1993 when his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” hit country radio. The song skyrocketed to the top of the charts and would later become the most-played country song of the 1990s.

His celebrity status continued to rise and Tricia remained by his side through it all.

“Dozens of people told Tricia, ‘You need to go tell your old man to get a real job,’” the singer shared with Country Weekly. “It took a strong-hearted and loving woman to say, ‘He’s good enough at music that I’ve got to let him try. And it’ll be a great shot for both of us if he can make it work.’”

Keith’s career reached new heights as time went on. He garnered accoladed after accolade, brought in multimillion-dollar endorsements, started a line of liquor and even launched his own line of restaurants, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.

Once dubbed “country music’s $500 million man” by Forbes, Keith hasn’t let fame get in the way of his marriage or family.

“I absolutely love performing and writing songs,” he says, “but being at home with my wife, Tricia, and my three kids is the best feeling of all.”

Toby and Tricia continue to reside in Oklahoma with their children and grandchildren nearby.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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 and her work being featured on 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.