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Toby Keith Admits He’s Got a Fear of Being ‘Too Famous’

Toby Keith fame
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images for ACM

Toby Keith has sold more than 30 million albums and charted over 60 singles, creating a country music career for himself that many artists only dream about. Although Keith counts himself as fortunate in that regard, he admits that his fame comes with a price.

“I’m so blessed that I get to do what I want to do. The artist in me gets to cut the songwriter in me[‘s] songs, and vice versa. I’ve always been comfortable just doing what I do and not having the accolades. And there may be a little bit [because] that’s a two-sided sword,” Keith explained during his talk at the 2017 Country Radio Seminar. “The biggest fear you can have in this business is failure. But I’ve also got a little bit of a fear about being too successful, being too famous.

“I would like going out and being myself. It’s difficult, but if I can find places that are sanctuaries to me, I love to just go and be me,” he adds. “I have people all the time go, ‘I can’t believe how freaking normal you are.’ I’m like, ‘There are enough a–holes in the world.’”

Still, Keith understands that, more often than not, when he leaves his house, he’s going to get attention, both from fans and paparazzi. That’s why he finally made peace with being a public figure.

“I tell my family, it’s a lot easier to just take the picture and let them go on than explain why we can’t,” Keith explains. “It takes a long time to explain to someone why they got a picture and you didn’t, so just snap it and go on. Most of the time, people get it out of the way and go …

“It’s part of the business,” Keith continues. “If you just want to be a hermit and not get out, then live like that. I don’t want to be with that. I just lead with my face and figure it out later.”

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