Academy Awards 2021: Toby Keith Hit Song Featured in Oscar-Winning Film

by Katie Maloney

Country superstar Toby Keith kind of took home an Oscar of his own during last night’s Academy Awards.

Okay, so he didn’t actually get an Oscar. But, Keith’s song “I Love This Bar” was featured in a movie that took home three Academy Awards. So, that counts, right? “I Love This Bar” appears during a scene in the movie Nomadland. The movie follows Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman in her sixties who embarks on a journey across America in her van. The movie is incredibly moving proof that we can lose everything and still find a home within ourselves. Nomadland was nominated for six Academy Awards and took home three last night including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Directing.

Keith shared an image from the film on Twitter. Along with the image, he wrote, “@nomadlandfilm, which features the song “I Love This Bar,” took home three #AcademyAwards last night at the #Oscars – including the award for best picture!”

Nomadland wasn’t the only film to feature a Toby Keith song. In fact, there are five other movies and television shows during which you can hear your favorite Toby Keith songs. “Big Ole Truck” can be heard in the premiere episode of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Three of his songs are featured in the movie, The Do Over. The songs include, “Beers Ago,” “Chill-Axin,” and “Every Time I Drink I Fall In Love.” One of his most popular songs,” I Love This Bar” is featured in an episode of Smallville (season three, episode five). Keith even sings the popular Christmas tune, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” in season one episode nine of Lethal Weapon the show.

Have You Watched This Clint Eastwood Movie Featuring Toby’s Song?

But one of the coolest soundtrack features that Toby Keith has is his song “Don’t Let The Old Man In” which is featured in the Clint Eastwood movie, Mule. Eastwood directed and starred in the film based on the true story of a WWII veteran in his 80s who takes a job as a courier for a Mexican drug cartel. The end of the movie features Keith’s somber song. Additionally, Keith got the idea for the song while golfing with Clint Eastwood. Eastwood was about to celebrate his 88th birthday and was talking about the movie he was going to start filming on the same day.

“He said, ‘I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in,’” said Keith during an interview in 2018. “And I thought, I’m writing that.” 

After quickly becoming motivated by Eastwood’s line, Keith got to work on the song. But when it came time to record a demo of the finished product, Keith was really sick.

“I was sick as a dog that day. And I was coughing and sneezing and thinking, this is terrible,” said Keith. “I gave it the best vocal I could that day, and I sent it off. It’s a real raspy, sleepy, tired, sick vocal. I said, ‘Well now you’ve got a reference, and I’ll go back and put a vocal on it for you.'”

Turns out, Clint Eastwood loved the raspy, sick version of Toby Keith.

“He said, ‘I’ve got a spot in the movie and I’m putting it in there.’ And then Warner Bros. called asking did I read the script before I wrote this song because it fits perfectly,” said Keith. “He [Eastwood] wanted it sick and tired and dark like that.”