Born in Clinton, OK, in 1961, Toby Keith grew up on a farm just outside Oklahoma City and took to the guitar before he reached the age of nine, growing proficient with remarkable speed and efficiency. As a young man, he worked the oil fields to support himself and formed a musical act patterned after Alabama, the Easy Money Band, but his primary gig fell through when the oil market entered a slump, forcing him to look elsewhere. He spent a two-year stint as a semipro football player, then opted to focus his time and energy on launching his musical career, eventually landing a contract with Mercury. Keith's first seven recordings (which witnessed him gravitating from Mercury to Polygram to A&M to DreamWorks) sold fairly well, but his 2002 album Unleashed (which contained "The Angry American," his response to the events of September 11) pushed him over the top and made him a household name. He received some of the best notices and highest figures of his career for his successive recordings. Cinematically speaking, most of Keith's on-camera appearances up through 2005 were performance-related, but in 2006 he branched out into acting with a lead (opposite Kelly Preston in the sentimental rural drama Broken Bridges) playing a country and western star who revisits his hometown for a funeral and falls back in love with an old girlfriend. He followed it up by producing, scripting, and starring in the 2008 comedy Beer for My Horses, the tale of two small-town sheriffs who set out to avenge a ruthless drug lord. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi