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Toby Keith Says ‘Hell No’ to Attending the 2012 CMA Awards

Toby Keith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Fans hoping to catch a performance by Toby Keith during the upcoming CMA Awards ceremony can think again. The often outspoken singer has given the long-standing country music establishment the proverbial middle finger, blatantly refusing to attend the event despite a nomination in the Music Video of the Year category for ‘Red Solo Cup.’

“Hell no, I ain’t showing up. I gotta go get a root canal that day, or something fun,” Keith tells Country Weekly sarcastically when asked if he plans to attend the upcoming ceremony.

Keith’s refusal to attend the ceremony may seem like a bitter tirade superficially, but given his reputation as one of the CMA’s favorite artists to snub in terms of nominations, one can’t blame the ‘I Like Girls That Drink Beer’ star for finding a more productive use of his time.

The singer’s sole nomination this year is his first since 2005, despite earning a handful of platinum albums and No. 1 singles in the last seven years. Out of his tally of 27 nominations, Keith has only scored two wins — including Male Vocalist of the Year in 2001 and Music Video of the Year for ‘As Good as I Once Was’ in 2005.

“Isn’t that crazy?” a surprised Keith says of this year’s Music Video of the Year nomination. “But, you know, it’s the only song I ever had cross over and play on the pop stations. Ever.”

“All of my peers that are hard ticket sellers, successful people, at the top of the game we play every day, about every one of them has had a certain amount of crossover play: Taylor, Tim, Keith, Flatts, Faith. I was always the one guy in that generation that didn’t,” he adds. “[Pop stations] were always like, ‘He is so country, we’re not going to play him.’ And I always took pride in that.”

There is still a glimmer of hope for stone-cold Keith fans eager to catch their favorite outspoken country superstar perform on an upcoming major awards show. The singer has snagged two ACA nominations, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Red Solo Cup.’ Given that he actually hosted the inaugural ceremony for the newly-formed awards show last year, he may be a little more receptive to attend the Dec. 10 event.

Next: What Is Toby Keith's Real Name?

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