Krystal Keith’s Childhood Not Affected by Father’s Fame
Krystal Keith grew up surrounded by country music. The daughter of one of the most successful country artists of all time, Toby Keith, was only eight years old when Dad’s first single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” hit the airwaves. With a father who spent most of his time on the road, it may seem that he would have been absent for most of her formative years, but she says that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“My childhood was very, very normal. Incredibly normal,” Krystal tells The Boot. “Obviously there were nights that he didn’t tuck us in, but I don’t remember those. He was always a phone call away. When he was home, we read the Bible together every night, and we said our prayers. He would leave and we would lead our normal lives, and he’d come home and it was just as normal.”
The Oklahoma native says Toby’s career did keep him away for a few weeks at time, but those memories are not forefront in her mind. “The most I remember about him leaving was, in the days before everybody had to wear seat belts, they would wrap us up in our comforters and carry us out of bed and lay us in the back seat of the car to take us to the airport,” she recalls. “Then, they’d wake us up when we got there just to hug him and kiss him and watch him fly off, and then we’d go home and go back to bed.”
Krystal, who is following in her father’s footsteps, just released her self-titled, debut EP, with her first album, Whiskey & Lace, due in stores this fall. The songstress, who chose to keep the name Keith (which is actually her father’s middle name) as her own stage name, says she isn’t at all concerned about riding on her dad’s coattails.
“I have been singing since I was little bitty, and then doing competitions,” she explains. “When I was seven, I went to an event with my dad, and all the little girls found out I was his daughter. I was signing autographs, and I didn’t hardly even know how to spell my name. Anytime I was in the circle of my dad, people always knew me as Krystal Keith. I had a small following that saw me grow up and sing in our local Opry. I didn’t see a reason to change it, just because not only do people know the name, but I think people are smart enough to not judge a book by its cover. There are going to be those people that don’t listen to the EP or album, and just decide things based on that, but if they’re willing to listen to the music with an open mind, I think my music will stand on its own.”
Krystal may be forging her own career path, but she says she will always rely on lessons her dad taught her. “My favorite advice that he gave me is just to stay grounded and not forget where you came from,” she shares. “It wasn’t ever a conversation, it was more of actions speaking louder than words. He always stayed grounded and never forgot where he came from. I picked up on how important that was.”
Watch Krystal Keith’s ‘Daddy Dance With Me’ Video