Toby Keith Remembers Jerry Lee Lewis in Heartfelt Message

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Skyville)

As the music world continues to mourn the loss of Jerry Lee Lewis, Toby Keith takes to his Instagram to share a heartfelt message about the rock legend. 

In the emotional post, Toby Keith wrote, “The killer Jerry Lee Lewis passed on today. What an honor it was to be his friend. His passing closes out an explosive era of American music. Last man standing baby!!!”

During an appearance on The Ty Bentli Show in 2021, Toby Keith previously opened up about Jerry Lee Lewis and Merle Haggard surprising him on stage. “[At the] Staples Center one year, where the Lakers play, years ago, I’m up there jamming, and it came in my ear monitors they said ‘Jerry Lee’s here. And he wants to come on stage.’” Keith explained. “I had my stage look like a big bar. And there was some swinging doors that we walked in through to get on stage. And I kept waiting for him. All of a sudden I heard this voice go ‘I’m over here, killer.’”

Toby Keith then said that Jerry Lee Lewis took over the piano and sang, “You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain.” The crowd, also as described by Keith, went “batsh—t” crazy. “And then Haggard was there that night. I mean the front row was fricking Stallone, maybe Khan and Burt. There was a lot of celebrities there. Carrot Top was there. It was really Hollywood.”

Toby Keith also performed at the Jerry Lee Lewis tribute event in 2017. At that time, Keith was pushing for Lewis to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. “He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Keith explained to the crowd. “He ought to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

Jerry Lee Lewis Gets Inducted Into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Days before his death at the age of 89, Jerry Lee Lewis was officially and finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

As previously reported, Jerry Lee Lewis, along with the late Keith Whitley and Nashville record executive Joe Galante were all inducted on October 15th. Garth Brooks spoke at the induction ceremony. “This is one of the greatest nights for me as a country music fan,” Brooks declared. “Honestly, [Whitley] could out-sing 99 percent of us.”

“I thought on my way here about the people that we meet when we first come to town, and [how] you can go down a lot of different roads,” Chesney said. “I was trying to think about what my life would be like had I not met you. And it ain’t good.”

Hank Williams Jr. spoke on Jerry Lee Lewis’ behalf. “Jerry Lee doesn’t walk on stage and politely thank an audience for being there. No, yeah Jerry Lee doesn’t ask for your attention. He demands it. He doesn’t take a stage he commands it. Sounds familiar… Believe me, if Jerry Lee Lewis sits down in front of a piano at your house, you’re going to pay attention.”