10 Years Ago: Toby Keith Hits No. 1 With ‘I Love This Bar’
Ten years ago today (Nov. 15), Toby Keith earned his 12th No. 1 single with ‘I Love This Bar,’ but chances are, he had no idea how much the song would impact his life.
Written by Keith and Scotty Emerick, the song described the patrons of a local bar, who include “winners, losers, chain smokers and boozers.” It was accompanied by a video shot at a bar in Chatsworth, Calif. called the Cowboy Palace Saloon.
The tune, which was the debut single from his ‘Shock’n Y’all’ album, stayed at the top of the charts for a total of five weeks.
The song spawned an entirely new business for the singer, with his own restaurant chain, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. Keith opened the first one in his home state of Oklahoma in 2005, and has gone on to open 18 more locations, including in Dallas, Tex., Denver, Colo., and Tuscon, Ariz.
Keith — whose estimated earnings last year were around $65 million, thanks in part to the success of the restaurant chain — insists his first focus is still making music.
“I definitely didn’t get into this business to open restaurants,” he tells CMT.
Good thing for Keith, his music career is doing fine as well. In addition to selling more than 24 million of his own albums, he is also co-owner of the record label Show Dog-Universal, which includes JT Hodges, Josh Thompson and Joel Crouse on the roster, as well as his own daughter, Krystal Keith.