Luke Combs Tributes Toby Keith With 'Should've Been A Cowboy' Cover

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Luke Combs covered a Toby Keith classic when the took the stage on Tuesday night (February 6) during a private performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Combs played his rendition of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” for the intimate crowd in Keith’s memory.

Keith died on Monday night (February 5) after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 62. Keith revealed in June 2022 that he’d been diagnosed with stomach cancer the previous fall, and had been undergoing treatment and surgery. He said at that time that he would take time off with his family to rest and recover. A statement shared to Keith’s social media pages in the early morning hours Tuesday confirmed that the country hitmaker “passed peacefully…surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Combs is one of many to pay tribute to Keith as fans and the country music community mourn his loss. Others who delivered powerful covers of classic Keith songs include Darius Rucker, Dan + Shay and more.

“Played the Ryman in Nashville this week so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to honor a true icon,” Combs wrote in his caption as he shared a video of the performance on his social media channels Thursday afternoon (February 8). “Thank you for everything, Toby. We’ll miss you.”

In addition to his career-spanning hits, Combs also delivered his award-winning cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” two days after the duo delivered a highly-anticipated performance of the 1980s ballad on stage at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards. Chapman — who became the first Black woman to win a CMA Award when “Fast Car” won in the Song of the Year and Single of the Year categories in November — joined Combs on the Grammy Awards stage for a rare live performance. Together, the two earned a standing ovation as the crowd erupted with applause.

Combs is one of many country artists nominated at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards, along with Wilson, Morgan WallenKane BrownJelly Roll and many others. Combs is nominated in country categories in addition to genre-spanning categories at the 12th annual awards show. See the list of country artists nominated at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards here.

Fans across the country will be able to watch the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards live as the show will be airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, April 1st from 8pm-10pm ET live/PT tape-delayed on FOX. The event will also be broadcast on iHeartRadio stations nationwide and on the free iHeartRadio app