Post Malone led the crowd in an epic sing-a-long salute to Toby Keith during his performance after Arlington, Texas' American Rodeo on Saturday night (March 9.)

Post -- a genre-bending global hip hop star who's gone country quite a bit over the past few years -- needed only an acoustic guitar and a classic Keith song to have the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. He sang "As Good as I Once Was," Keith's rip-roaring 2005 hit about balancing middle age against still having a little ill-advised youthful fun.

Before the song's last chorus, Post took a dramatic pause, then raised up his red Solo Cup. He splashed a little of its contents on the crowd, pouring one out for the late country legend. As the crowd roared, Post took a hearty swig of his drink before finishing the song.

It's been over a month since Keith died on Feb. 5, but the country community is still keenly feeling his loss. In the weeks after his death, fans immersed themselves in Keith's music: His greatest hits project posthumously became the No. 1 album in America -- of any genre -- and he had the biggest digital song sales week of his career in mid-February, a couple weeks after his death.

How Did Toby Keith Die?

Keith died on Feb. 5 after battling stomach cancer for more than two years. He was 62 years old.

After announcing his diagnosis publicly in mid-2022, Keith spent several months out of the spotlight in order to undergo chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He returned to the stage for some one-off performances in 2023, and gave his last televised performance at the 2023 People's Choice Country Awards, where he sang a gripping rendition of his song, "Don't Let the Old Man In."

The singer is survived by his wife Tricia Lucas, their three children and several grandchildren and extended family.

Related: Toby Keith's Best Songs Prove He's a Country Icon

Post Malone has consistently shown an interest in the country genre over the last few years. He first captured the attention of mainstream country fans in 2022 with a cover of Brad Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)" that was so impressive, Paisley temporarily changed his social media bio to say "I write songs for Post Malone."

Since then, the rapper has been steadily inching towards a full country project. He performed with Hardy and Morgan Wallen on the stage of the 2023 CMA Awards; they sang a Joe Diffie tribute as a preview of Hardy's upcoming, Diffie-centric Hixtape.

But it seems that the Hixtape isn't the only country project Posty's got his hand in. Last November, he confirmed that his full country record is on its way.

In Memoriam: Country Stars Who Died in 2024

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Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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