Fans of Toby Keith received an uncommon display in Pikeville, Ky. During his February performance, Toby Keith made his way towards the front of the audience and along the side of the crowds. A fan pushed his way towards the front and once he reached where Keith was in the crowd, he threw his beer at the singer and gave him the finger. In response, Keith grabbed the man by his shirt and pulled him close, grabbing the back of his neck to draw him in. You are not able to hear the exact words exchanged, but it is quite obvious they are very heated. Keith pushed the fan away, letting security take him out.Afterwards, the singer went on stage and apologized saying “I’m sorry to act like that. I’ve never acted like that before.”
The reactions I have found online are fairly positive. Well, they do not condone his actions, nevertheless most bloggers and comments say the fan deserved it. Toby Keith has created an image for himself as the “bad boy” in country music. Further, if someone purchased a ticket for a concert, why would they go in to throw a beer on the artist you paid for? Well, unless it was a punk rock show, but this is country music and clearly different. To pull a stunt like that is asking for an incident.
Some headlines have tried to claim Keith “jumped from the stage” and “attacked a fan.” Most headlines with those titles have been from entertainment sites, such as TMZ or celebrity bashing blog sites. But none of those really criticize his actions. People who say he is acting like a “redneck” or “hillbilly” also say they do not see any reason to go to a Toby Keith concert to begin with. Keith’s fans are not looking to these sites, so I do not think this affects his audience. All his fans, like the Nashville Narc, say Keith did the right thing by confronting him for being out of line.
I looked on Toby Keith’s website for some reaction or response from the artist, but there is nothing. Everything I could find about the incident is second hand sources. He did apologize to the other fans and the concert continued without a hitch, I think that was very smart of him as an artist. Since this altercation was all over TMZ (in two separate segments) and therefore reaching far past the country music community; I think his reps should have posted some type of acknowledgement. It could have said the fan was out of line and that Keith became irritated that someone would act so disrespectful to him and his fans. He wanted to let him know his behavior was unacceptable and have the man removed. I would apologize that the fan would act in such a way to disturb the show, rather then say Keith disrupted the show.
A funny end-note, this scene occurred during Toby Keith’s song “A Little Less Talk, a Lot More Action”