Toby Keith’s Childhood In Pictures

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It’s tough to imagine country music without Toby Keith. He burst onto the scene in 1993 with the release of his debut single, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” and from that moment on, Toby’s impact on the genre was undeniable.

Before Toby Keith started shaping the future of country music, the singer was a little boy growing up in rural Oklahoma.

Toby, whose full name was Toby Keith Covel, was one of three children born to Hubert K. Covel Jr. and Carolyn Ross. His earliest years were spent in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a lively town near the Oklahoma border.

After his family moved to Moore, Oklahoma, Toby spent summers visiting his grandmother who owned a supper club in Fort Smith. This is where Toby first became interested in music as he watched the club’s musicians performing. He got his first guitar at 8 years old and eventually got up on stage to play with the band.


According to Toby, he wrote his first song at 14, a tune called “If You’re Handing Out A Heartache.”

“It wasn’t bad. It was structured right, but it wasn’t very good either. But the people around here when I played it, they were like ‘Wow, that’s a great song.’ It’s just a song. That was 5,000 songs ago,” Toby reminisced in a video posted earlier this year.


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It would be nearly 15 years and hundreds of songs later before Toby Keith got a chance to share his God-given talent with the world. Toby was 30 years old when his debut single went No. 1 and he became a household name (and face). But, what did Toby Keith look like in the years before his fame? We’ve gathered some of our favorite photos of young Toby (courtesy of his social media pages) to share with you.

The photos below show Toby Keith as a baby up until he was recording the song that would change his life. See Toby Keith’s childhood photo collection below.