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All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
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TCU students mourn the death of country music star Toby Keith

Greg Allen/Invision/AP
File – Country music recording artist Toby Keith holds a red Solo cup as he performs on NBC’s Today show at Rockefeller Plaza on July 5, 2019, in New York. Keith, who died Monday at 62, immortalized the humble plastic cups in his 2011 hit “Red Solo Cup.” (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

TCU students joined those mourning the death of Toby Keith, one of the most prolific country musicians of his generation, on Tuesday.

Keith, 62, had been treated for stomach cancer since being diagnosed in 2022. A lifelong resident of Oklahoma, Keith had his first hit in 1993 with “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”  He would go on to have 42 top 10 hits in Billboard’s Country category, as well as 32 No. 1s. He sold more than 40 million albums, and his music was streamed over 10 billion times, according to his official website.

Keith’s website announced his death Tuesday morning, in a statement that read, “Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on Feb. 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

“I listened to a lot of his music growing up,” Madline Clarke, a first-year biology major, said. “I feel weird about him dying, and although I wasn’t super emotionally attached to him, death is always sad.”

James Paul, a sophomore theatre major, said he wasn’t a fan, but he did know a couple of songs, like his favorite, “How Do You Like Me Now.”

Callee King, a sophomore interior design major, said she had hoped Keith’s treatment would be successful.

“I heard about his death this morning and feel incredibly sad,” King said. “He was a really great artist. I loved to listen to his songs on the Fourth of July.”

Carlie Byrd’s favorite song was “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”

“I am heartbroken because he was a great singer,” said Byrd, a sophomore interior design major. “I listen to his music all the time.”

One of Keith’s hits, “Red Solo Cup,” celebrated the ubiquitous red plastic drinking cup.

“I heard about his death from my younger sister and it made me feel really sad,” said Taylor Olson, a senior marketing major. “My family and I all love the ‘Red Solo Cup’ song. I am truly mourning the loss of him.”

Marina Kimzey, a first-year fashion merchandising major, also spoke fondly of the solo cup song.

“I was a big fan of his and will remember freshman year parties when they played his song ‘Red Solo Cup’,” Kimzey said.

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