Toby Keith was a father to three kids before his death on Feb. 5, 2024
Toby Keith was an iconic country star, but to his kids, he was a doting father.
The “Red Solo Cup” singer was a father to three children with his wife Tricia Lucus. The singer adopted Tricia’s first daughter, Shelley, 43, after the two wed in 1984. The pair then welcomed their first child together, Krystal, 38, in September 1985. Their third child, a son named Stelen, 26, was born in April 1997.
Toby died on Feb. 5, 2024, after being diagnosed with stomach cancer two and a half years earlier. He was 62 years old. His family posted a statement on X (formerly Twitter) announcing his death hours after he passed.
“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on Feb. 5 surrounded by his family,” the statement read. “He fought his fight with grace and courage."
Before his death, one of the things Toby was most proud of was his family and how “great” all the kids grew up to be. He told PEOPLE in 2010 that despite growing up in the spotlight, his children were all doing well.
“Everybody in the family is good,” he said. “I was raised by good parents and I have great kids. They don’t have any issues at all — none.”
“They all grew up with me being successful, but they are not hooked on that part of the business,” he added.
From starting their own families to their careers, here’s everything to know about Toby Keith’s kids.
Shelley Covel Rowland, 43
Toby’s older daughter, Shelley, was born in 1980 to her mother and was adopted by the country singer after they wed.
Though Shelley is the most private of Toby’s children, she did join her family for the SwingDish Launch Event in Las Vegas in 2015.
Shelley got married and welcomed a child with her husband, making Toby a grandfather for the first time. The “Should Have Been a Cowboy” singer posed with this entire family, including his grandchildren, for Thanksgiving in 2023.
Krystal Keith, 38
Toby and Tricia welcomed their first child together, Krystal, on Sept. 30, 1985. Though her siblings use the last name Covel, which was Toby’s birth last name, she chose to adopt her father’s stage name instead.
Krystal followed in her father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in music. She got her start when her dad featured her on his 2004 song “Mockingbird,” which they performed together at the 38th Annual CMA Awards the same year.
Krystal went on to make her own music, putting out an album, Whiskey & Lace, in 2013. The record included her hit song “Daddy Dance with Me,” which she performed for her dad for the first time at her 2010 wedding to Andrew Sandubrae.
"I wrote it for my father-daughter dance at my own wedding, and we just did the video," she told Nashville Gab in 2013. "It was an amazing experience.”
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Krystal stayed in the state and is now raising her family, which includes her two daughters: Kirby and Hensley. The girls enjoy skiing together and celebrating holidays with their family.
"I am shattered. As great as he was in his career, he was so much greater as a dad and a husband and a Pop Pop. He was my hero," she wrote in the caption.
She added that she was grateful for their shared time together and all the memories they made since the birth of her two kids.
"I am so lucky to have had him and so grateful he got to walk me down the aisle and meet my babies. That I have years of memories traveling the world as a family," she wrote. "I am blessed that I got to spend years traveling on the road and singing on stage with him. That I have mountains of video footage and endless tracks of music to watch him on and hear his voice with."
Stelen Keith Covel, 26
Toby and Tricia welcomed their youngest child and only son on April 17, 1997. From a young age, Stelen said people pointed out that he was similar to his dad in many ways.
“Tell me where I get it from. Man they always wonder who, then they meet my pops and tell him Stelen's just another you,” he wrote in an Instagram caption underneath an old photo of the two.
Like his sister, Stelen is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he studied entrepreneurship and venture management, per his LinkedIn.
Now, Stelen is the co-owner of multiple businesses, including 405 Burger Bar, Hollywood Corners, Tequila Chulos and Sellout Crowd. The latter is a sports reporting news network focusing on Oklahoma sports.
On Nov. 6, 2021, Stelen married his wife Haley Covel in Las Vegas with his family by his side. Shortly after, his father announced his cancer diagnosis and Stelen posted a wedding photo with his parents on the special day, thanking fans for their support.
“Thank you to you all for the kind words and prayers regarding my dads announcement yesterday,” he wrote in the caption. “He's a fighter, has done all the measures to mitigate it and needs rest to get back to his self.”
After his dad's death, Stelen wrote a touching tribute on Instagram. He mentioned how Toby was the "best mentor" and that the only thing he "truly ever wanted in life" was to make his father proud.
"You are the strongest man I have ever known. A fighter. A true titan of your industry. My guiding star. My coach. My hero," he wrote in the caption under a photo of him and his father swimming in a pool when he was a boy.
"An embodiment of the American Spirit," he continued. "You are a man whose strength, prowess, and talent could only be trumped by his ability to be a father and husband. Your impact is forever stamped on the world and on millions of people, yet not one person knew you the way I did. You were my biggest champion and the guiding light in my darkest times."
He ended the post by saying his death was only "goodbye for now." "I love you cowboy," he wrote.
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