Montana has an eclectic taste in music.  In places like Bozeman and Missoula, where things are a little less 'Montana" than other parts of the state, you can catch live music regularly, and no matter your preference, are sure to find something that fits your style.

However, for the rest of Montana, it seems that country music is King.

All across The Treasure State, whether it's a rodeo dance, weekend night out, or scanning through the radio as you drive down the road, chances are, you're going to hear country music.

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One of the music formats biggest artists passed away Monday evening and country music lovers across Montana are in mourning. Toby Keith, who had been battling stomach cancer for the last few years lost that fight and passed away at the age of 62.

2021 iHeartCountry Festival Presented By Capital One – Show
Credit: Getty Images Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff
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Keith burst onto the scene back in 1993 with the hit "Should've Been A Cowboy" and over the next 30 years would have over 40 top 10 hits with 20 of those landing at the number one spot. Keith was a larger-than-life personality and was known for his tongue-in-cheek humor, as well as his love for those men and women who wear the uniform and serve their country.

Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival 2010 - Day 2
Credit: Getty Images Kevin Winter / Staff
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We asked Montanans what their favorite Toby Keith song was, and as you can imagine, the list was long.  However, let's take a look at the songs getting the most mentions.

  • Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue- after 9/11 there were all kinds of songs dealing with the sadness and grief of the event as it was a very emotional time.  Keith had recently lost his father who was a U.S. Vet and decided to write a song about him as well as the events of the time and that resulted in what would become an in-your-face anthem that is still popular today.
  • Should've Been A Cowboy- As mentioned, the song that kicked it all off back in 1993 is still one of the most requested Toby Keith songs. For many, the dream of being a "Cowboy" is still as popular today as it was all of those years ago, and here in Montana, which is Cowboy Country, it's no surprise that the song is still beloved.
  • Beer For My Horses- This duet with Willie Nelson turned into a huge hit and also introduced a new generation that might not have been as familiar with 'old school country' of Nelson.
  • I Love This Bar- Another classic Keith song, I Love This Bar is a song that everyone can relate to. No matter your lifestyle, or what is happening in your world, its a song about coming together and and enjoying both the good and bad times with others.

Of course, there are many other songs, and even though Toby has left us, we are better for his music and his music will last forever. Rest In Peace, Big Dog Daddy.

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