Dan + Shay Deliver Moving Cover Of Toby Keith Ballad To Honor Late Legend

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Dan + Shay posted a stunning rendition of a Toby Keith ballad as they — and the rest of the country music community — mourned the loss of the legendary artist on Tuesday (February 6). A statement posted on Keith’s social media pages in the early morning hours confirmed that the beloved singer-songwriter “passed peacefully…surrounded by his family,” following his battle with stomach cancer. He was 62.

Dan + Shay, the award-winning duo made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, covered Keith’s “She Never Cried in Front of Me” early in their career. It’s a song that Mooney said was “one of the first songs I ever learned on guitar. And one of my favorites of all time.” Smyers sat at a keyboard and Mooney played guitar as the two country stars performed the heartbreak ballad another time to pay tribute to the late legend: “Used to cover to this song back in the early days. RIP to one of the greatest country music songwriters of all time. You’ll be missed [Toby Keith]. ❤️”

“How was I supposed to know/ She was slowly letting go/ If I was putting her through hell/ Hell, I couldn't tell/ She could've given me a sign/ And opened up my eyes/ How was I supposed to see/ She never cried in front of me”

Keith wrote “She Never Cried in Front of Me” with Bobby Olen Pinson. He released the track on his 11-track album, That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy in 2008, adding to his career-spanning hits since making his debut in the early 1990s. Most recently, Keith released 100% Songwriter, a 14-track collection spotlighting songs written solely by Keith. The album includes “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” “Country Comes To Town,” “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This,” “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American),” “Stays In Mexico” and more.

Keith announced in June 2022 that he’d been battling stomach cancer since his diagnosis in fall 2021, revealing at that time that he’d take a break from playing music to rest and recover. He said at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards in late September that his cancer had been “a little bit of a roller coaster,” though he was feeling good on the day he received the first-ever Country Music Icon Award.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on Feb. 5 surrounded by his family,” reads the statement released on Tuesday morning, which has since prompted an outpouring of tributes. “He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”