In 2001, the song I Wanna Talk About Me came out.
It was the first time I had heard of Toby Keith.
The song was huge for him. It’s safe to say this was the song that solidified him on the Country Music map.
He was 40.
Now, he had been around and had a few smaller hits through the 90s, but this particular hit was huge.
He had released his first country album less than a decade earlier.
It came out in his early 30s.
In music, to have your first album come out in your 30s, and to have the hit that finally solidifies you on the music scene at 40, is not common.
In reality, you’re ancient.
You’re not going to make a 30 under 30 list. And you narrowly missed the 40 under 40 list.
While Toby Keith got a late start, which I admire, he also became quite prolific after that release in 2001.
He released 5 albums prior to 2001, excluding a Christmas album.
After his 2001 album release, excluding greatest hits and Christmas albums, Toby Keith has released 13 albums. All of those came in the 15 years since the 2001 release.
Almost double the rate he was releasing prior.
That’s what makes Toby Keith impressive.
It’s not that he had a groundbreaking musical breakthrough in his late teens or early 20s, it’s that he has continued to be creative over decades.
30 under 30 lists are overrated and they’re a fairly useless measure of success.
Can you sustain your work for 3 decades?
That question, and measuring your endurance, is far more interesting.