Pete and Lisa Chartier 2003Peter Meets Toby Keith

“Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.” - Ronald Reagan

Pete Gave Toby Keith A Chopper Ride In Iraq

Pete in IraqMr. Keith needed a life between locations in Iraq and Pete's chopper picked him up and delivered him in typical Marine style. 

Toby Keith Covel was born in Clinton, Oklahoma to H.K. Covel and Joan Covel. He has a sister, Tonni, and a brother, Tracy. His family moved to Moore, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City) when Keith was young. His grandmother owned a supper club and Keith became interested in the musicians who came there to play. He got his first guitar at the age of eight. Keith attended Highland West Junior High and Moore High School where he played on the football team.

Keith graduated from Moore High School and, in 1979, went to work as a derrick hand in the booming oil fields of Oklahoma. He worked his way up to become an operation manager. At the age of 20, he formed the Easy Money band and they played local bars as he continued to work in the oil industry. At times, he would have to leave in the middle of a gig if he was paged to work in the oil field.

In 1982, the oil industry in Oklahoma began a rapid decline and Keith soon found himself unemployed. He fell back on his football training and played defensive end with the semi-pro Oklahoma City Drillers while continuing to perform with his band. (The Drillers were an unofficial farm club of the United States Football League's Oklahoma Outlaws; Keith tried out for the Outlaws but did not make the team.) After two years with the Drillers, Keith decided to try music full time. His family and friends were doubtful he would succeed, but in 1984, Easy Money began playing the honky tonk circuit in Oklahoma and Texas. The band cut a single titled Blue Moon and the song received some airplay on local radio stations in Oklahoma.

Also in 1984, Keith married his wife, Tricia. He is the father of three children; Shelley (born 1981; adopted stepdaughter), Krystal (born 1984), and Stelen (born 1997).  An avid University of Oklahoma football fan, Keith is often seen at Oklahoma Sooners games and practices.

Thank You For Supporting Our Troops And my Son!

Keith considers himself "a Conservative Democrat who is sometimes embarrassed for his party." He endorsed the re-election of President George W. Bush in 2004 and performed at a Dallas, Texas rally on the night before the election. Keith also endorsed Democrat Dan Boren in his successful run in Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional district and is good friends with Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

In a January 2007 interview with Newsday, Keith was asked whether or not he supported the Iraq War. He responded with "Never did." He favors setting a time limit on the campaign. He also said, "I don't apologize for being patriotic... If there is something socially incorrect about being patriotic and supporting your troops, then they can kiss my [ass] on that, because I'm not going to budge on that at all. And that has nothing to do with politics. Politics is what's killing America."