Fact Check

'Woke' Garth Brooks Kicked Out of Toby Keith's Tribute Show?

"Reports have emerged of Garth Brooks being asked to leave Toby Keith’s tribute show," SpaceXMania.com reported.

Published Feb 9, 2024

Garth Brooks speaks onstage during NSAI 2023 Nashville Songwriter Awards at Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 26, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images) (Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images)
Image Via Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images
Claim:
Country star Garth Brooks was kicked out of a tribute show for fellow country singer-songwriter Toby Keith.
Context

This claim was made up for a website that says it publishes satirical content.

On Feb. 8, 2024, the SpaceXMania.com website published an article positing that country star Garth Brooks had been kicked out of a tribute for the late singer-songwriter Toby Keith, all for being "woke." Keith had died days earlier on Feb. 5, after a battle with stomach cancer.

Breaking: Garth Brooks Kicked Out Of Toby Keith’s Tribute Show, “Toby Wouldn’t Have Wanted A Woke Person Here”

In an event that was meant to unite and celebrate the legacy of Toby Keith, one of country music’s most beloved figures, an unexpected incident has sparked a nationwide conversation about respect, legacy, and the spirit of unity that music embodies. Reports have emerged of Garth Brooks being asked to leave Toby Keith’s tribute show, an event designed to honor the life and music of the late singer. Amid the whispers and echoes of the incident, a phrase stands out: “Toby Wouldn’t Have Wanted That.” This article delves into the complexities of the situation, reflecting on the broader implications for the country music community and its fans.

As of Feb. 9, the story had received over 30,000 combined likes, comments and shares in a Facebook post that was shared by a page that claimed to have affiliation with SpaceXMania.com.

However, the truth was that there was no tribute for Keith where Brooks was asked to leave.

SpaceXMania.com is a website that describes some of its output as being satirical in nature, both on its "About Us" page and as a label above articles.

Garth Brooks' Bud Light Controversy

The basis for the satirical negativity toward Brooks was about past remarks he had made in apparent reference to Bud Light and transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

On June 7, 2023, Billboard.com published an interview with Brooks where he had talked about the plans for his Nashville bar, which was not yet open at the time. During the interview, Brooks appeared to reference a controversy about Bud Light's previous partnership with Mulvaney. Brooks said it was his intention to serve "every brand of beer":

"I know this sounds corny," [Brooks] continued, "I want it to be the Chick-fil-A of honky-tonks … I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another. And yes, we're going to serve every brand of beer. We just are. It's not our decision to make. Our thing is this, if you [are let] into this house, love one another. If you're an a–hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway." A number of artist-owned bars on Lower Broadway, including John Rich's Redneck Riviera and Kid Rock's bar, quit serving Bud Light after the brand partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year.

After the interview was published, Brooks received criticism for months. Some of that criticism came from online users who align themselves with right-wing politics.

More about the timeline of events regarding the controversy with Brooks and Bud Light can be found in our previous reporting.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

Bain, Katie. “Garth Brooks Talks Major Label Radio Dominance, How His Nashville Bar Will Serve ‘Every Brand Of Beer’ & Possible New Chris Gaines Music.” Billboard, 7 June 2023, https://www.billboard.com/music/country/garth-brooks-country-live-panel-nashville-interview-melinda-newman-1235348128/.

Liles, Jordan. “Did Garth Brooks Cancel His Bar’s Grand Opening After Bud Light Controversy?” Snopes, 16 June 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/garth-brooks-cancels-bar-grand-opening/.

PerryCook, Taija. “Yes, Toby Keith Has Died.” Snopes, 6 Feb. 2024, https://www.snopes.com/news/2024/02/06/toby-keith-death-2024/.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.