Toby Keith became a husband and a father when he married Tricia Lucus, 39 years ago Friday (March 24). The singer was 22 years old when they married.
Lucus was a couple years younger and already a mother to Shelly, born in 1980. Keith would adopt the little girl, and the couple would go on to have two more children: Country singer Krystal Keith (born in 1985) and son Stelen (pictured above, born in 1997). For nearly 10 years, they hustled like any American family before he started having success as a country singer.
Keith worked in Oklahoma oil fields during those growing years, and he made decent money ($50,000 a year, per People). Songwriting and the call of the stage got him, however, and shortly after visiting Nashville (“the oil fields went bust”) he found success with “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” his first No. 1 hit.
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The couple began dating after meeting at a club in Oklahoma in about 1982. She was an oil company secretary at the time and would later say, “He was just one of those larger-than-life-guys, full of confidence.”
This date would eventually be tainted by a sad event in Keith’s life. On March 24, 2001, his father died. A charter bus crashed into Hubert Keith Covel’s pickup truck, and later the singer would admit that event led him to want to be with family as much as he could.
On social media, Keith’s team commemorated the marriage. He’s been keeping a low profile for the last year as he recovers from stomach cancer. Last November, he made his first official public appearance when he accepted the BMI Icon award in Nashville.