Sammy Hagar on Emotional Toby Keith 2024 CMT Awards Tribute: VIDEO

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Sammy Hagar is paying tribute to his friend and fellow musician Toby Keith.

The rock and country legend will perform a tribute to Toby Keith during the 2024 CMT Awards on April 7. The annual awards show is taking place at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. After Keith’s passing from cancer earlier this year, Hagar, Brooks & Dunn, and Lainey Wilson will perform some of his biggest hits during the telecast.

Sammy Hagar on Toby Keith Friendship

“For some reason you know some people just hit it off when they meet,” he said of his late friend. “…Toby and I within the first five minutes we were going down the road talking about boxing, fighting. and talking about songs. Toby was like a a jukebox.”

Hagar recalled that Keith was able to perform any song at the drop of a hat. He performed everything for Bob Seger, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and other genres. He even knew all of the Van Halen songs by heart. They later bonded so much that Keith purchased a house near Hagar’s Cabo home.

“We’d just have a couple drinks and get on stage and do anything you wanted,” he said of the coastal town. They would perform for 200-300 people eating tacos and having a drink and perform for hours together.

“We just really hit it off on a musical level on a personal level and uh our families really got along my daughter,” he added. “We spent a lot of time together.”

Sammy Hagar on Toby Keith’s Music

Hagar felt like he was “talking his language” in being able to tell a story with songwriting. He also appreciated his sincerity and acted like the same person both on and off stage.

“Almost every song of his hits were really personal to a lot of people. He was so honest and sincere about everything he did,” he continued.

2024 CMT Awards Tribute

The song that he is set to perform for Keith has a special meaning for him. Although he wouldn’t say which it was, fans have already begun to speculate. He added that he will have a difficult time performing a song for his late friend of more than 20 years.

“I always accused Toby of writing that song for me,” he said. “I recorded it myself on one of my records. He used to say, ‘Sam you sing that song like a girl,’ because I I sing a very higher register.”

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.