Watch Toby Keith & Daughter Krystal’s Unforgettable CMA Performance In 2004

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Remember when Toby Keith’s daughter joined him on stage at the CMA’s to sing with him?

When Toby Keith and his daughter Krystal performed “Mockingbird” together 20 years ago, it was an emotional display of their family’s musical talent. Krystal’s debut at the 2004 CMAs marked a significant moment in her musical journey alongside her father. Growing up in a household filled with country music practically ensured that she would inherit Toby’s deep passion for singing.

Proud of his daughter’s vocal prowess, Toby insisted Krystal complete her college education before pursuing a singing career. Her CMA performance served as a pinnacle moment for Krystal, where she and her father delivered a stirring rendition of “Mockingbird,” propelling the song to No. 27 on the charts.

Toby Keith and his daughter Krystal perform at the 2004 CMA Awards.
Alejandro Segura / YouTube

Fans were absolutely thrilled by Toby and Keith’s performance, expressing their admiration for the talented father/daughter duo.

“Wow..her voice is insane! Not every legend can bring their child to the stage that sounds like this!!”

“So sweet how Dad gives daughter credit at the end and focuses [the] audience’s attention toward her.”

“Father and daughter did a great job. This song was absolutely perfection. It was lively with a lot of enthusiasm. Well done Toby Keith and daughter Krystal!”

“This is the best version of ‘Mockingbird’ I have ever heard in my life. Father and Daughter are outstanding. Truly a dynamic duo!”

“Mockingbird” Is Actually Based On A Lullaby

The song “Mockingbird” has a storied history, originating from the lullaby “Hush Little Baby” and seeing various interpretations over the years. It was first written and recorded by siblings Inez and Charlie Foxx in 1963.

The original lines of the lullaby:

Hush little baby, don’t say a word,

Papa’s  gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,

Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns brass,

Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.

The song lyrics:

“Everybody have you heard? He’s gonna buy me a mockingbird. And if that mockingbird won’t sing, he’s gonna buy me a diamond ring. And if that diamond ring won’t shine, he’s gonna surely break this heart of mine.”

Despite its roots, it became a natural choice for Toby and Krystal to perform together, given its heartfelt lyrics and familial theme.

Watch their performance below.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree In The Keith Family

In 2013, Krystal released her debut album, Whiskey and Lace, fulfilling her dream while still cherishing the guidance and wisdom imparted by Toby.

In an interview with Inside Music Row, Krystal offered insights into her album, discussing its creative process and inspiration behind the songs.

“It’s something I’ve waited on my whole life. To actually get to hold an album in my hand and know that I worked so hard to get that, it’s gonna be pretty incredible.”

The interviewer expressed her love for the title, “Whiskey and Lace,” asking Krystal how she came up with it.

“It describes me to a T. A friend of mine called, and it’s a stupid girl’s story, but she bought a shirt that said ‘whiskey and lace’ and she was like way too excited about it and me being a songwriter, I was like that’s a song title.”

Just like her father, the legendary Toby Keith, Krystal certainly inherited the gift of songwriting.

The first release from her album was a song called “Daddy Dance With Me.” This touching song was written by Krystal for her wedding, intending to sing it to Toby.

Krystal’s “Daddy Dance With Me” takes on an even deeper emotional meaning in the wake of her father, country music legend Toby Keith’s passing. Originally a heartfelt tribute to the bond between a father and daughter, the song now resonates with an added layer of sadness as it embodies the cherished memories and moments shared between Krystal and Toby.


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In the early hours of February 6, Toby’s family announced that he had passed away peacefully in his sleep the night before. His family issued a statement regarding his passing:

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”


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RELATED: Watch Toby Keith’s Final Interview

Toby Keith was the founder of the Toby Keith Foundation. The foundation helps support the OK Kids Korral, which serves as a home-away-from-home for families with children undergoing cancer treatments. If you’d like to make a donation in Toby’s memory, you can visit the Toby Keith Foundation’s official website here.