Toby Keith Didn’t Want To Sing ‘Don’t Let The Old Man In’ At PCCAs

Toby Keith/Credit: CMT YouTube
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Jennifer Havener
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Toby Keith’s performance at the People’s Choice Country Awards revived his career. But at first, he didn’t want to sing ‘Don’t Let the Old Man In.’ Keep reading to find out why he was against singing it and how an executive producer persuaded him.

Toby Keith Looks Back At Thanksgiving Day 2003

Dolly Parton has been dominating headlines since Thanksgiving. She was the halftime performer at the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders game on Thanksgiving Day. The 77-year-old stunned the television audience by wearing a Cowboys cheerleading uniform during her performance.

That same day, singer Toby Keith posted a throwback photo from the time he was the halftime performer.

He asked his followers, “Anybody remember what songs Toby sang at the @DallasCowboys Thanksgiving Half Time Show back in 2003?

Many fans chimed in with their best guess or their favorite songs. Some of the guesses included “American Solder,” “How Do You Like Me Now!” and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”

He actually performed several songs during the halftime show. Keith performed his hits “Beer For My Horses,” “How Do You Like Me Now!” and “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)” (via Outsider.)

Toby Keith Didn’t Want To Sing ‘Don’t Let The Old Man In’ At PCCAs

Fans may not remember what song Toby Keith played 20 years ago, but they remember the song he played less than three months ago. After staying out of the public eye for two years during his battle with cancer, the “As Good as I Once Was” singer returned with a stunning performance at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards.

He performed “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” which was originally released in 2019 as a single but failed to reach an audience.

However, his PCCA performance revived interest in the song due to its haunting contemplation of death, something Toby Keith now has firsthand experience with.

But it turns out he didn’t want to perform that song at first. In an interview with Taste of Country, the singer revealed that he was against the idea because he thought the song was “dour.”

He credited PCCA executive producer) Rac Clark with changing his mind. After rehearsing the song, Clark came up to him, wiping away tears. “You S.O.B, you got me!” the producer said about the emotional song.

The performance almost didn’t happen at all. Toby Keith was sick the day of the show, but he rallied and made it through. His sickness actually came about not because his cancer was making him sick but because it wasn’t.

He told Taste of Country that he was feeling so good the night before that he overindulged in wine, which made him feel sick the next day.

Do you think “Don’t Let the Old Man In” was the right song for Toby Keith’s return to the stage? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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