Toby Keith to perform in Saudi Arabia on weekend of President Trump’s trip
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump isn’t the only American traveling to Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Country singer Toby Keith will perform Saturday at a free concert in the capital Riyadh, according to the Associated Press. The show will be open to men only, and Keith will perform alongside an Arabian lute player. Keith’s publicist, Elaine Schock, told CNN in an email it’s the first time he’s performing in Saudi Arabia and it’s their understanding he will be the first non-Arabic artist to perform a show there.
The show is not listed on his 2017 tour dates and he has not promoted it on social media.
Trump is traveling to Riyadh as part of his first foreign trip as president that will also include stops in Jerusalem, Rome, Brussels and Sicily. He will leave Friday.
Keith performed in January at a Trump inauguration event on the National Mall.
“I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” he told Entertainment Weekly at the time. “I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.”
Keith, born in Oklahoma, released his debut album in 1993 and is known for hits including “Red Solo Cup” and “I Wanna Talk About Me.” His 2002 song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” released in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, made him a household name. The song remains popular today, frequently closing out his concerts. It was used on a Fox News segment in March after the US dropped a bomb nicknamed “the Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, and on Tuesday, he tweeted lyrics from the song.
Keith has released five albums that have gone No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.