Toby Keith sang “Made In America” at one of his weekend pop-up concerts.
Over the weekend, Toby Keith performed two surprise concerts disguised as “rehearsals” at his venue, Hollywood Corners. The concerts were a trial run for the singer who has been battling stomach cancer for the past year-and-a-half.
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In a recent interview, Keith teased the practice runs saying that he was going to test his ability to perform a full set before hitting the road again, something he said he hoped to do by the end of the year.
Keith performed full 2 1/2-hour sets on Friday and Saturday to a packed house. He sang some cover tunes such as Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and all of his own biggest hits for the crowd. Fans were especially excited to hear him sing “Made In America” just in time for Independence Day.
“Made In America” was a single released from Toby’s 15th studio album, Clancy’s Tavern, in 2011.
This song almost didn’t make the cut according to Keith. He told The Oklahoman his first inclination was to leave it off of Clancy’s Tavern because he felt as though he already had too many America songs.
“I’ve got ‘Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue,’ ‘American Soldier,’ I just did ‘American Ride’ (in 2009)…a lot of America songs. They’re just coming daily; if I did ’em all, that’s all I’d record. I thought I should leave about three or four years between ’em and let the last one breathe a little, y’know? I figured (‘Made in America’) could wait for the next (album).”
Keith reluctantly told Billboard Magazine that he only decided to record it after his sound team and musicians in the studio made a big deal about how great of a song it was while he was recording the scratch vocals. He had made up his mind before this that he wouldn’t include “Made In America” on the album, but he didn’t want to let everyone down so he gave in and eventually added it to the tracklist.
“I was in the booth singing the scratch vocal, and everyone was going, ‘God, what a smash. That is awesome, pal!’ he recalled. “Everyone was high-fiving and carrying on. I wasn’t about to pop everyone’s bubble and say, ‘I ain’t putting it on the album.’ So I said, ‘Alright, y’all win. Put it on there.'”
“Made In America” quickly gained popularity and ended up reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart bringing his total of chart-topping songs to 20.
Hear Toby Keith sing “Made In America” during his triumphant return to the stage last weekend in the video below: