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“Bear with me if I don't get through it.”
McGraw paused his February 8 appearance at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in Davie to dedicate one of his most famous songs to Keith, who lost his battle with cancer a few days earlier.
“Toby and I got to know each other pretty well early in our career. We spent a lot of time hanging out on the bus. Played some shows together...” McGraw began. “He was a really, really, really good guy. A great artist, and I always respected how he did things his way and didn't care what anybody thought.”
"So, bear with me if I don't get through it. You guys help me out,” he told the crowd as he became visibly choked up. “But I want to dedicate this song to Toby and his family.”
The audience began to cheer as the band played the introduction to “Live Like You Were Dying.” McGraw, momentarily unable to sing, held his microphone out to the crowd and let them lead the first part of the 2015 hit.
The crooner shared a similar message on social media following Keith's death.
"Our self-titled debuts came out on the same day, April 20, 1993… Toby and I spent quite a bit of time together early in our careers,” McGraw wrote. “We had a lot of good times and conversations about what we wanted out of our careers and our lives. He was a maverick. He did things his way, on his terms, a true artist. I always have and always will have tremendous respect for his artistry, dedication and fearlessness to do his thing. We all will miss you, brother."
Kieth died from stomach cancer on February 5. He was 62.
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