Looking Back: Toby Keith’s Moore tornado benefit concert sells out in 2013

NORMAN, Okla. — On May 20, 2013, an EF-5 tornado leveled the town of Moore. The two-mile-wide stretch of destruction left hundreds injured and killed 24, including several children when a school collapsed.

Oklahomans did what they do best and jumped in to help.

Country music star, Toby Keith, grew up in Moore and made it his mission to give back in the best way he knew how, through music.

“I’ve got lots of family and friends who were directly affected,” Keith said at the time. “I know these folks and they’re resilient, but we’re going to keep helping them any way we can. I’m proud to get together with some others from around here who are just as committed as I am to supporting these communities.”

The Twister Relief Concert featured Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Mel Tillis and a whole slew of other artists. The concert was sold out, packing OU’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

In a matter of hours, the 60,000 tickets were sold out. At $25 a ticket, those sales alone brought in $1.5 million for the United Way of Central Oklahoma.

“Once we got the news that the tornado had hit Toby’s hometown, Miss Yearwood and I told Toby we were at his service for whatever he chose to do,” Garth Brooks said in 2013. “I am amazed at the human spirit the tornado victims have shown. I am humbled by the giving of the volunteers. It is an honor to get to be a part of this healing process.”

“When Toby asked me to come on board, I immediately said ‘Yes,’” Sammy Hagar said ahead of the concert. “He’s put together a hell of a concert lineup to help raise funds for the brave and resilient people of Oklahoma. My job is going to be to help them take their minds off their problems and have some much-needed, good old-fashioned fun.”