Toby Keith’s Twister Relief Show Breaks Attendance Records
Toby Keith's Oklahoma Twister Relief concert was a huge success, with emotionally-charged performances buoyed by a collective effort to help out victims of the deadly May tornadoes in the Sooner state. Country fans did their part in showing up to the event, breaking attendance records at Oklahoma University’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday (July 6).
There were allegedly over 60,000 fans in attendance at the benefit show in Norman, Okla., and while proceeds haven't yet been calculated, the fact that it had record-breaking attendance means it was probably a grand-slam event.
With performances from some of country music's biggest acts, the incredible set of musicians were on the top of their game, including Garth Brooks and Toby Keith's daughter, Krystal Keith, plus Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, rocker Sammy Hagar, John Anderson, Wade Hayes, Mel Tillis, Willie Nelson and Carrie Underwood (via satellite).
It seems that everyone wanted to get involved in the twister relief benefit, as former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys football coach Barry Switzer introduced Tillis, and after the tornadoes tore through Keith's hometown, Brooks immediately called his fellow singer up to volunteer his own musical services.
“Everybody is here for the right reasons,” Keith said before the show. “You really have to see the devastation with your own eyes to appreciate how bad it is. It’s probably what a war zone looks like.”
The country star was introduced by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who said, “We may have had setbacks here, but we will have a really strong Oklahoma comeback."
The sold-out crowd got their fill of fan favorite songs, ranging from Keith's 'American Soldier' to some of Brooks & Dunn's greatest hits, and even were treated to a 10-minute fireworks display.
However, the focus of the show was on helping Oklahoma heal, and Keith shared a heart wrenching story of an 8-year-old boy he'd met at the children's hospital who was badly injured and lost his mother in the storms. "I was hoping to have him with me today as an assistant, but he wasn’t well enough to come," the star revealed. “All we can do is help as many as we can, but we can never replace things like lost family treasures."
As Oklahoma continues to recuperate, it's incredibly encouraging to see 60,000 country music fans step up to help make a difference. Through the efforts of many, healing can begin to take place.