During President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, Toby Keith proudly performed at the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration. Although the singer has performed at multiple presidential inaugurations, his involvement in Trump’s festivities drew more criticism and outcry than usual.

“There’s no reason not to do it,” Keith shared during his talk at the 2017 Country Radio Seminar. “I know a bunch of people were committed. I know a bunch of people — I’m not naming names — but there’s a bunch of people that I didn’t think would have considered it who were committed, and they backed out due to pressure.”

Keith says that he received several texts telling him that he was brave for participating in the Inauguration Weekend event, but the Oklahoma native says that he never considered backing out in spite of the backlash.

“In the end, it just makes you stronger,” Keith says. “If you don’t succumb to that kind of pressure, you’ll always come out stronger: Your fans will love you more, your friends will love you more, and at the end of the day, you just get another notch on your gun belt.”

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