For the third year, superstar Toby Keith has been named Nashville SongwriterAssociation International's (NSAI) 2006 Songwriter/Artist of the Year. Inthe past year Keith released his latest platinum selling album, "White TrashWith Money," which features 12 tracks that he wrote or co-wrote includingthe hit singles "Get Drunk and Be Somebody," "A Little Too Late," and hiscurrent single "Crash Here Tonight."
He's in Roanoke tonight and Ralph Berrier Jr of "The Roanoke Times" got some (very timely!) quotes from him:
"Toby Keith wants to set the record straight: Patriotic songs did not "save" his career, and his support for American soldiers does not necessarily mean he's wild about the war in Iraq. And while he's at it, he doesn't think much of music industry executives, but at least they're better than the movie studio suits, and they're all better than Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Natalie Maines. And don't get him started about the current crop of male country singers, of which he is one, because he's not sure any of them will be remembered very fondly 20 years hence. This is all just his opinion, of course.
"Keith is free with opinions and doesn't care much what people might think of them, or of him. He's big and loud, with a personality and ego to match his college linebacker size (6-foot-4, 250 pounds).
"Over the past five years, he has earned the reputation as a flag-wavin', Ford pickup-drivin', million-sellin' red-state hero, who's proud to be "The Angry American" who supports the "American Soldier." Both are titles of hit songs he has written and recorded since the United States went to war following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Mostly, though, he wants you to know this: He's just a big ol' easygoing country boy from Oklahoma who is flat-out misunderstood. "When I look back, I would say that I have learned a lot" over the past five years, he said. "If you take a stand on an issue, if you're a patriotic guy, or you say something to support the troops, you get sucked into this red state/blue state business. I'm tired of politics, all politics. None of it has anything to do with being a patriot."