When Toby Keith left major label Dreamworks in 2005, it raised many eyebrows.
He’d just become the hottest act in Nashville, with massive hits such as ‘How Do You Like Me Now,’ ‘I Wanna Talk About Me’ and ‘Beer For My Horses,’ released during an incredibly successful period.
But Keith was of the view that he and the label weren’t on the same page creatively.
In fact, he says there was initially strong opposition from his label to recording those songs in the first place.
“I had to put my foot down and make the label release,” he says.
So in 2005, at the height of his career, Keith took the huge gamble of leaving a major label.
He created Showdog Nashville with the aim of trying to replicate his success and finance his recording career independently.
But in his mind, it was the only way forward.
“I never looked at it as a gamble. I’d been around for 12 years and I saw the people that were moving from label to label,” he says.
“I thought that if I could hire some of the people I knew could do those jobs and pay them the right salaries, then they could do a great job for me as well.”
Check out ‘Red Solo Cup’ by Toby Keith
Nearly 15 years on and with hits including ‘Red Solo Cup,’ ‘American Ride’ and ‘God Love Her’ to his credit with this own label, he move has proven to be the right one.
Keith is celebrating the success of the label and the many hits he’s released on it, with the recently released 16 track greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits: The Showdog Years.
Following his tour in 2014, Keith says Australian fans should get their red solo cups ready for another tour in the next couple of years.
“We’re trying to come back. I love it over there,” he says.
Toby Keith’s Greatest Hits: The Showdog Years is out now.