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Toby Keith Says Grammys Don’t Respect Country Music

Toby Keith has had a more successful career than most artists, of any genre. With 39 Top 20 songs, including 22 No.1 hits, more albums sold in the past decade than Britney Spears and Jay-Z and more airplay than Pink and Lady Gaga, he is certainly at the top of his game. But there is one career achievement that continues to elude the superstar, and he says he has finally made peace with it.

“The Grammys don’t respect country,” Toby tells CMT. “The Grammys would take the four biggest artists in this genre and ask them to come to a show, perform on the same song at the same time and not do a country song.” Not only has Toby never won a Grammy, the multi-platinum-selling artist has not won a major award since 2005.

But, he says, he doesn’t need a trophy to measure his success. “My decade will stand with anybody’s … That’s all you can do. You just go do your thing. The people at home, sitting listening to music, don’t know the difference.” Once very vocal about his disappointment over not receiving any accolades for his achievements, he says he’s learned his lesson. “If you try and fight and politic your way into that, you’re going to waste a lot of creative time doing what you do best. So I quit a long time ago trying.”

Instead of taking home awards, Toby has become an artist who’s as known for making provocative, outspoken comments as he is for making music. and that suits him just fine. “That’s how I make my money,” he says. “I open myself up to the media, and if I need to ring somebody’s bell and get a little press for something, I can say a couple of choice, cued, preconceived words and dance them like puppets and they’ll go right to work for me, for free … I know when to call my shots and when to get them riled up. And I’ve done it very good. I’m very good at it.”

Recently making headlines for signing veteran act Trace Adkins to his newly combined Show Dog-Universal label, Toby says the Grammy-nominated crooner is the perfect fit to his roster. “Trace being established gives me a stamp of approval and gives me some strength from a visibility that this isn’t just Toby’s vanity label. We instantly become a power, not just by joining with Trace, but by having Mark Wright and Universal on board.”

In addition to his role as President of Show Dog-Universal, Toby is also still an artist. His latest single, ‘Cryin’ For Me,’ from his No. 1 album, ‘American Ride,’ is currently in the Top 20 and climbing.

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