Country music luminary John Rich has called out pop sensation Taylor Swift for her conspicuous silence following the passing of country music icon Toby Keith on Monday. Keith, aged 62, succumbed to stomach cancer after a three-year battle. Despite Keith’s pivotal role in launching her career, Swift, as of Wednesday morning, had not made any public statements about his demise.
Expressing his disappointment, Rich took to his social media platform on X, directly tagging Swift and questioning when she would share her thoughts on Keith’s passing. Rich highlighted Keith’s instrumental role in discovering Swift and securing her first record deal. He emphasized the significance of Keith in Swift’s early career, recalling a 2005 interview where the then-15-year-old Swift spoke about the power and influence Keith had on her.
When is @taylorswift13 going to share some words about Toby Keith? The man who discovered her, got her the 1st record deal? Taylor, where are you today? #TobyKeith https://t.co/6mz88PD5gK
— John Rich???????? (@johnrich) February 6, 2024
In the interview with Nashville’s WSMV-TV, Swift reflected on the impact of Keith, expressing awe at being in the same room with him and acknowledging the undeniable force he exuded. The clip from the interview went viral on Tuesday, showcasing Swift’s admiration for Keith during her early years in the industry.
Swift, who began her journey with Keith’s label Big Machine Records as a high school student in Tennessee, saw her career skyrocket under the label. Despite her departure from country music in subsequent years, Swift remained with Big Machine Records for a significant period, achieving international stardom.
With a massive following of 280 million on Instagram and 95 million on X, Swift’s social media platforms have been notably silent on Keith’s passing. Her most recent posts on both platforms, promoting her upcoming album and celebrating her Grammy win on Sunday night, were made on Monday. The absence of any acknowledgment of Toby Keith’s death has raised eyebrows in the music community.