Christian music star TobyMac has postponed a 12-city theater tour he was set to go out on Nov. 7-24, rescheduling the dates for April and May of 2020 — a move anticipated in the wake of the sudden death of the singer’s son, 21-year-old aspiring rapper Truett Foster McKeehan, on Oct. 23.
“Due to the untimely passing of his oldest son Truett Foster, Toby’s place is at home with his family this fall,” promoter Awakening Events said in a statement. “The TobyMac Theatre tour in its entirety has been rescheduled to the spring. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause fans. … We appreciate your patience, understanding, and continued prayers for the McKeehan family during this difficult time.”
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No changes have been announced for a separate arena tour scheduled to begin January 30 and running through the end of March.
Wednesday, TobyMac and his wife, Amanda Levy McKeehan, announced they had set up an organization in honor of their son, called the Truett Foster Foundation, to raise money to help kids pursue education in music.
No cause of death has been released. Initial reports said the Nashville Fire Department received a call about a person in cardiac arrest at the family’s home and pronounced McKeehan dead on arrival. Autopsy results might take 6-8 weeks, authorities said at the time.
TobyMac had been open in the 2018 song “Scars” about how his relationship with his son had changed after Truett left home. “Now you won’t take my phone calls / You won’t text me back at all / I just wanna see you / I can’t stand to see you gone,” he rapped on the track. Elaborating with the Tennessean in an interview at the time, the singer elaborated: “Up to now, [our home’s] been a safe harbor, a place of love. And now, you know, I have my first kid leave home. He’s going and facing this world…. To watch and see him get cut and get bruised, it’s not easy.” It was clear from some of the son’s more irreverent social media posts that he was not following his father’s path into the Christian music industry.
That led to speculation that the father and son might have been estranged. Perhaps to tamp down such talk, after Truett’s death, TobyMac released what he said was the final text exchange between the two of them, which occurred after he went to see his son perform at what turned out to be both his first and last show, in Franklin, Tenn. TobyMac had gone to Canada to resume his own tour dates the day after his son’s showcase.
“I wanted to tell you how proud I was of you last night,” the elder singer texted. “Your show was amazing and I think you got the ‘it’ factor which is very important but unexplainable. Your joy is infectious and you invite people into it…”
“Love you dad,” Truett responded. “Thank you so much. You have always believed in me. Make me feel like a superhero.”
On social media, TobyMac wrote, “Truett Foster Mckeehan had joy that took the room when he entered. He was a magnetic son and brother and friend. If you met him, you knew him, you remembered him. His smile, his laugh, the encouragement he offered with words or even without. He had an untamable grand personality and dreams to match. And he hated being put in a box. He expressed himself through the music he made. And by made I mean, written, recorded, produced, mixed, and designed the art. All of it. A true artist. His first show was a week ago, and it was nothing short of electric. Everyone felt it, everyone knew it. He could’ve easily taken the easy route and put music out when he was 12, 14, 16, even 18, but he always said he wanted to live some life and have something to say before he did it. He didn’t want to be a child star, he wanted to be a man with scars and a story to tell. I always admired, respected and encouraged that stand.
“Truett always had a soft spot for God. The Bible moved him. His heart was warm to the things of his King. He was by no means a cookie cutter Christian but give me a believer who fights to keep believing. Give me a broken man who recognizes his need for a Savior every time. That’s who Truett was and how he should be remembered.
“My last moment with Truett in person was at his first show this past Thursday at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. I had to leave the next morning very early to fly and start our Canadian tour. As I stood in the audience and watched my son bring joy to a room, I was as proud as a ‘pop’ (as tru called me) could be. It was the culminating moment of a dream that he had since he was 12. It couldn’t have been sweeter. Our music, and what we say lyrically couldn’t be more different, but the outcome was much the same… offering a room full of people a few minutes of joy in a crazy world. Our last text exchange is shared above (swipe). My wife and I would want the world to know this… We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under-the-table deal with Him, like, we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. And He is beautiful above all things.”
Singer Lauren Daigle responded on Instagram: “You have been on my team’s heart tonight. Words cannot heal the sorrow & grief, but just know, you are being lifted up. May the God of unimaginable comfort surround you & your family.”
TobyMac is ranked among the top artists in Christian pop, with seven solo albums since leaving the seminal Christian pop/rap act DC Talk in 2000, six of which went gold. His post-DC Talk accolades include three Grammys, two Billboard Music Awards, one American Music Award and 20 Dove Awards. His latest album, “The Elements,” came out in 2018, preceded by 2015’s “This is Not a Test,” which included Truett as a guest performer.
The rescheduled tour dates:
4/25/20 – Montgomery, AL – Montgomery Performing Arts Center
4/26/20 – Chattanooga, TN – The Tivoli Theatre
4/28/20 – Savannah, GA – Johnny Mercer Theatre
4/30/20 – Peoria, IL – The Peoria Civic Center Theater
5/3/20 – Knoxville, TN – The Tennessee Theatre
5/4/20 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
5/6/20 – Rockford, IL – Coronado Performing Arts Center
5/7/20 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Embassy Theatre
5/8/20 – Evansville, IN – Aiken Theatre at Old National Events Plaza
5/11/20 – Columbia, SC – Koger Center for the Arts
5/13/20 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre
5/14/20 – Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theatre
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