Country music legend Toby Keith opened up about being attacked for his patriotism and his decision to perform at President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
Appearing in an interview with Fox News, Keith talked about his song “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue,” which he wrote in just 20 minutes right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The song was first played for a group of Marines who were being deployed to Afghanistan.
However, the song’s patriotic themes soon brought backlash for the singer. Keith said he was shocked as he should be able to freely express his love of country.
“John Wayne and Johnny Cash sang about the flag,” he said. “Now I can’t—send these kids off to war and want them to come back home and do a good job? And right there I went, ‘I’m going to be that guy.’”
After sharing that he had made over half a billion dollars during his singing career, Keith defended his decision to perform at President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
“Going to a president’s inauguration, no matter who it is, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “It’s an honor to make history and get to do that.”
The 58-year-old went on to say that though American music tastes have undergone some major changes since he was at his peak, he has no intention of changing his style. In fact, the country star claimed he’ll never change his style and will always stay loyal to what made him successful.
“I’m in a new world but I’m going to outwork you,” he said earlier in the segment. “It’s more of a hip-hop country. I hope the kids make a half a billion [dollars and] end up on Forbes. I made mine, but I’m not going to write that stuff.”