Reba McEntire, deeply saddened by the loss of her dear friend and fellow “Okie,” Toby Keith, who peacefully passed away at the age of 62 after bravely battling stomach cancer, recently shared her heartfelt sentiments in an interview with PEOPLE.
Expressing the profound impact of Toby’s departure, Reba spoke not only as a friend but also as a fellow artist and a representative of the tight-knit Oklahoma community. She remarked, “We’re going to miss him so much, not only as a friend but a fellow performer and person in the music business and from Oklahoma,”
Recognizing the difficulties Toby faced during his battle with cancer, Reba expressed a sense of relief that he is now free from pain and suffering. She shared a poignant reflection, saying:
“But he doesn’t have to fight anymore, and he doesn’t have to hurt anymore. I hope one day to get to see him up in Heaven. Thank God we have his wonderful music to keep us company, even though he’s not here on Earth with us.”
Reba’s words reflect the deep loss felt by the music community, emphasizing the enduring impact of Toby Keith’s legacy through his exceptional contributions to country music.
Reba McEntire warmly reminisced about the joyful experiences of touring alongside Toby Keith during the 90s, a period she described as “a lot of fun.” Reflecting on their dynamic, she chuckled, “Toby was more of the renegade, the outlaw type, and I’m the Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes, and so it was kind of like two ends of the spectrum.”
In praising Toby’s musical prowess, both as a singer and songwriter, Reba emphasized his distinctive presence. She noted:
“He was a great writer, a great singer. When Toby came on the radio, you knew who that was. Toby Keith was a distinctive vocalist, a stylist, that you knew exactly who he was. So, that’s a wonderful trait to have.”
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Reba McEntire further conveyed her admiration for Toby Keith’s artistic identity, acknowledging the unique mark he left on the country music landscape.
In a brief statement shared with Oklahoma news station KOCO 5 News, Reba expressed her sentiments about Toby’s passing, a sentiment echoed in her video interview where she shared more heartfelt words about the late artist.