SYDNEY fans will have their chance to party with the big dog daddy of American country music, Toby Keith, when he plays his first ever Australian shows next March.
Announced today, Keith will headline a show at Allphones Arena on Tuesday, March 18, following a solo gig in Brisbane and his headlining spot at CMC Rocks the Hunter at Hope Estate, Pokolbin.
Joining Keith in Sydney will be fellow American touring artists, The Eli Young Band and Kellie Pickler.
With a career spanning 20 years, Keith is regarded one of American country music's biggest stars.
His record sales exceed 35 million and he boasts no less than 31 American number one radio singles, most of which have come from his illustrious pen.
Throughout his career he has won numerous accolades including multiple CMA, ACM and American Music Awards, and he was named the Billboard Country Artist of the Decade.
During his Australian visit, Keith will be running through his many hits - including Should've Been A Cowboy, How Do You Loke Me Now, Who's Your Daddy, Red Solo Cup and Beer For My Horses - as well as new material for his soon-to-be-released 17th album, Drinks After Work.
Keith said he couldn't believe it had taken so long, but he was happy an Australian tour was finally set in stone.
"You owe your fans - no matter where they are - the opportunity to hear you come and play live," he said. "It's not possible for most of the fans in Australia to come over here and see us live so I owe it to them. I receive emails and requests from Australia all of the time begging me to come.
"We finally went for two different years to Europe and years ago we played a festival in Japan, and I thought, 'why don't we ever go to Australia, that seems like the hottest other country music place in the world'.
"As far as international travel, Australia is much better geared up for country music than say when we go through the UK, because the UK ends up being a whole lot of small arenas, which is fun and all, but they're not as geared up festival wise as Australia is."
Keith said he had already had his fair share of encounters with Australian fans over the years.
"I've performed on the USO tours 200 shows in the desert for the fighting men and women of our country and I've ran across the Australian military people over and over again ... in fact that's where I get my beer when I'm on my USO tours," he joked.
"I've met them and they've all said, 'when are you coming', so I expect there will be some military people that have retired in the last ten years that have seen us overseas that will come and probably yell out for different songs that we've sung on the USO tours. We're looking to have a blast."
Tickets for CMC Rocks the Hunter are available through cmcrocks.com, and tickets for Keith's Allphones Arena show go on sale at 9am, Friday, October 4, through ticketek.com.au.