Chart Rewind: In 2004, Toby Keith Paid Tribute to the ‘American Soldier’

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On Feb. 21, 2004, Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” started a four-week command on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, marking his 13th No. 1 on the survey.

Keith wrote the tribute song with Chuck Cannon and produced it with James Stroud.

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“American Soldier” was released as the second single from Keith’s LP Shock’n Y’all, which ruled Top Country Albums for 13 weeks and the all-genre Billboard 200 for one frame. It yielded two other Hot Country Songs chart-toppers: “I Love This Bar” and “Whiskey Girl.”

Keith, who died Feb. 5 at age 62 after a battle with stomach cancer, was born July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Okla. He was a football star at Moore High School, where he played defensive end. He went on to play semi-pro ball for the Oklahoma City Drillers.

Starting in 1993, Keith rolled up 76 Hot Country Songs hits, including 20 No. 1s among 42 top 10s. On Top Country Albums, he banked 10 leaders among 24 top 10s.

Outspoken with his political opinions and a strong supporter of the military, Keith played events for multiple presidents. He also performed more than 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.

On Nov. 1, 2021, Keith was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Following Keith’s passing, his 2008 LP 35 Biggest Hits vaulted to No. 1 on both the Top Country Albums and Billboard 200 charts (dated Feb. 17). Plus, a single-week record nine of his songs ranked in the top 10 of the Country Digital Song Sales chart.

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