When Toby Keith (whose real last name is Covel) met his future wife, Tricia Lucus, one thing stood out to her, it was his confidence.
His confidence has taken Toby Keith to some of the biggest stages in the world, however, none of his accolades compare to something far more valuable, his marriage to his wife for 33 years.
Keith was 20 and Lucus was only 19 when they met at an Oklahoma nightclub in 1981.
“He was just one of those larger-than-life guys, full of confidence,” Lucus recalls in an interview.
Toby Keith said, “She and I danced. I thought she was great.”
The way they danced made an impact on both Keith and Lucus, and although they were young, He knew that he wanted a lifetime of happiness with Lucus. The couple married on March 24, 1984, when Keith was 22 years old.
After their wedding, Toby adopted Shelley, Lucus’ daughter, who was born in 1980. They grew their family to include a daughter, Krystal Keith (who inherited her father’s singing chops) and son, Stelen Keith Covel.
Toby Keith provided for his family by working the Oklahoma oil fields with his dad – a sometimes-dangerous job, where he once witnessed a death on the field. However, when the work dried up, he turned to music, playing with the Easy Money Band in bars for 35 dollars a night (plus free beer), which is certainly not an ideal income to support a small family.
“He’d say, ‘Trish, one of these days, my time is coming. Hang in there,’” Lucus (now Tricia Covel) recalls.
Still, Toby’s blushing bride was in full support of his ambitious music career.
“Dozens of people told Tricia, ‘You need to go tell your old man to get a real job,’” Keith says. “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.’”
With the support of his wife and undeniable talent, Toby Keith’s work paid off big time; his total career earnings are estimated to be 500 million dollars. He’s definitely scored big in the entertainment industry, but Keith — now a grandfather of two — holds the truly valuable close to his heart.
“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.”
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