With Toby Keith's induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame, we're looking back at this thoughts on the subject of making it in, which he shared with Taste of Country Nights, On Demand in one of the final interviews he gave before his February 2024 death.

The interview took place in November of 2023, months before Keith was announced as one of the newest members of Country Music Hall of Fame. So, he was unaware that soon, he'd be a member.

We asked him, however, if he thought he would ever make it in. Here's what he replied:

"Don't ask me, I don't know how that works. They usually wait 'til you die, don't they? Don't you have to be 85 to get in there?"

After a few chuckles, the "Red Solo Cup" singer got serious.

"You know, I'm in five Hall of Fames. Above all of 'em, the two Songwriter Hall of Fames, and the BMI Icon were the three."

"I mean the People's Choice is wonderful, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is great, and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is great," he noted. "But getting into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the worldwide songwriters Hall of Fame ... I would have been a songwriter either way."

Keith recalled how he was unexpectedly accepted into country music as not only a songwriter, but a singer.

"They just happened to accept — it wasn't up to me, it was up to the fans, but, they just happened to accept me as an artist, so I had a vehicle to deliver all those songs. A lot of people in the Hall of Fame were never really artists, and I happen to be able to just not have to pitch my songs and record them."

Of course, he would go on to become one of the biggest stars of his time, but he was happy just writing songs.

"I didn't want the CMAs and the music awards shows and all that stuff — that was just a place to show up and get promoted and be relevant," Keith said last fall. "The couple things that I really wanted was to someday stand up there and accept a nomination into the Hall of Fame as a songwriter."

Toby Keith died on Feb. 5, 2024, one day before ballots were returned revealing that he'd been voted into this year's class.

A formal induction for the 2024 Country Music Hall of Fame Class will happen this fall. In addition to Keith, John Anderson and James Burton join as Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.

Evan Paul is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a syndicated radio show heard on more than 130 country radio stations nationwide, every night from 7PM to midnight. He plays the best new country music and interviews today's top stars, like Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, + more! 

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