Country Throwback: Toby Keith and Daughter Krystal Perform Beautiful Duet of ‘Mockingbird’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Toby Keith and his beloved daughter Krystal rocked the CMA Awards way back in 2004 with their sassy cover of “Mockingbird.”

It’s not every day a proud dad can sing with his daughter on such a big stage. Please listen to the song. Hang with us on the other side and we’ll give you some details, along with a little granddad trivia.

Back in 2004, Toby Keith was riding a huge wave of popularity with a string of No. 1 hits. He already had the top song of the 1990s in “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” His tracks also had a patriotic flavor to them, including “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” and “American Soldier.” He released the album “Shock’n Y’all” in November 2003. A year later, he released his Greatest Hits 2 album. It included three new tracks, including “Mockingbird,” a duet with his daughter.

Toby Keith And His Daughter’s Song Reached No. 27 On Charts

Toby Keith loved that his daughter had such a beautiful voice. But he wanted her to graduate college before she started a singing career. The 2004 CMAs live from Nashville represented her biggest stage.

“I should have been completely terrified, but I was 18 or 19, and I really just didn’t have any reservations about it,” Krystal Keith told The Boot. “My dad was like, ‘Well, here’s your X, and here’s my X, and if you need anything …’ The curtains were about to open, and I was like, ‘What I need is for you to get on your X.’”

Mockingbird Is Based On Lullaby

By the time Toby Keith selected the track for his album, “Mockingbird” has been around for decades. It’s based on a line in the lullaby “Hush Little Baby.” Singer Inez Foxx and her brother, Charlie, recorded the novelty song in 1963. It reached No. 7 on the U.S. pop charts. Dusty Springfield sang a cover of it in 1964. Then Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, recorded it in 1965.

But most folks know Mockingbird best as a duet between Carly Simon and James Taylor. They took it to No. 5 and it was certified gold in the 1970s. Taylor and his sister used to sing it as teen-agers.

So a song based on a lullaby seemed perfect for a father-daughter like Toby Keith and Krystal. The song made it to No. 27 on the country charts.

As promised, Krystal Keith went to college. She graduated from Oklahoma. By 2013, Krystal released a mini, four-song album. The first song released was “Daddy Dance with Me.” She wrote that for her wedding to sing to Toby Keith.

Krystal, now 35, is the mother of two. She said Toby Keith is a big “teddy bear” with his granddaughters. She captioned this photo “snuggled into the same spot I snuggled into 33 years ago. “

Will there be a grandfather/granddaughter performance?