When Toby Keith planned his Live in Overdrive tour, which crisscrossed the U.S. this summer, he had a bit of an ulterior motive. The superstar wanted to help out up-and-coming singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert.

"He's like me 10 or 20 years ago. He's a tremendous performer, and he came through the business as a songwriter first," Toby explains to Country Countdown USA. "I look for someone who I can help. Like 10 years ago, when Rascal Flatts opened for me. They wanted to be on my tour. He came in, and he wanted to be on my tour. He came out and kicked it every night and caught a good wave, because 'Red Solo Cup' was flying, and he got in front of a lot of people."

While both musicians are known for their songwriting prowess -- Brantley co-wrote Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" and "My Kinda Party" -- they didn't have time during the trek to blend their creative voices. "We would have written songs, had I not had body parts removed," Toby explains. "About the time we got far enough into the tour where we have time to do that, I had my gall bladder attack. But we'll always be friends, and maybe we'll write one together."

The "I Like Girls That Drink Beer" singer has talked about the insignificance of his gall bladder surgery, but he admits the need for it was a long time coming. "I had an attack, I thought it was weird indigestion back in December," he recalls. "Then it was gone for three months and didn't think anything about it. I thought it was a cramp. Then in March I was on the golf course and by the third hole, I hit my drive and then started feeling that same thing I had three months earlier. Me and the guys hit our second shots and by the time I got to the green, I was doubled over, and dry heaving, broke out in a sweat. Everybody says when you have a gall bladder attack, it feels like a heart attack. And I didn't think it was that bad. It felt like a stomach cramp."

Toby only had to miss one concert for the surgery, and is now back to his old self. "I haven't noticed anything changed, but it's just weird when they start taking body parts from you!" he laments.

The country megastar is off the road until February, but has several dates for 2013 already on the books. Check them out here.

Watch Toby's 'I Like Girls That Drink Beer' Video