Toby Keith to Receive Country Icon Award at Inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards

Toby Keith will receive the country icon award at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards on Sept. 28.

Keith, famous for such songs as “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “How Do You Like Me Now,” “As Good As I Once Was,” and “Beer for My Horse,” will be honored for his 30-year career as a musician, humanitarian and entrepreneur. Fellow Oklahoman Blake Shelton will present the award.

The honor is the latest in a long list of accomplishments for Keith, including being named a BMI icon last year, receiving the National Medal of Arts in 2021, and being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015. “We’re overjoyed to honor legendary artist Toby Keith with the first-ever country icon award,” said Cassandra Tryon, senior vp, of entertainment live events for NBCUniversal television and streaming in a statement. “As a talented songwriter and powerhouse performer, Keith has touched the hearts of fans across the globe. His illustrious career and passion for philanthropy has cemented his place as an icon in country music history.”

The recognition comes as Keith is returning to the public arena after successfully battling stomach cancer for the 18 months. He recently announced that he hopes to return to the road this fall.

The awards show, an expansion of the People’s Choice Awards, will be hosted by Little Big Town and will air and stream at 8 p.m. ET/PT across NBC and Peacock, live from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The telecast will be produced by Den of Thieves with Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager and Barb Bialkowski serving as executive producers.

The show is being touted as an example of collaboration resulting from the new partnership between NBCUniversal and the Opry Entertainment Group, following NBCUniversal’s equity investment OEG parent company Ryman Hospitality Properties last year. RHP sold a minority stake, valued at nearly $300 million, to NBCUniversal and Atairos.It also gives NBC its own country focused awards show. ABC airs the CMA Awards, while CBS now broadcasts the CMT Awards after the ACM Awards moved to Amazon in 2022.



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