TobyMac is a Christian hip hop recording artist, music producer, songwriter, and author. His prominence came when he started by being a member of the Christian vocal trio DC Talk, staying with them from 1987 until they went on hiatus in 2000.
He has since continued a successful solo career with the release of seven studio albums: Momentum (2001), Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight (2010), Eye on It (2012), This Is Not a Test (2015), and The Elements (2018), as well as four, remixed albums: Re: Mix Momentum (2003), Renovating Diverse City (2005), Dubbed and Freq’d: A Remix Project (2012), and Eye’m All Mixed Up.
In 1987, Toby formed DC Talk with Michael Tait at Liberty University. He and Tait released Christian Rhymes to a Rhythm in 1988, while they recruited classmate, Kevin Max Smith. After they released their first album in 1989, DC Talk, the three set out on tour.
They released their first gold album, Nu Thang in 1990. After the Nu Thang tour, they recorded their first platinum album, Free at Last. They were invited to play on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Arsenio Hall Show, getting mainstream attention. They released their first single for their next album, which immediately became a hit single. Jesus Freak, the album, which they released in 1995, went multi-platinum and led to the extremely popular Jesus Freak World Tour.
They eventually released the tour CD, Welcome to the Freakshow. “Between You and Me” reached No. 29 on the Hot 100 in 1996. The tour ended in success in time for Supernatural, which would be their last album. The album would sell platinum. They then went solo in 2001.
The band has not toured together since 2001. However, DC Talk has recorded several songs together since their hiatus: “Let’s Roll” in 2002 ,a song about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, “Atmosphere (Remix)” on TobyMac’s 2004 album Welcome to Diverse City, “The Cross”, a track on Kevin Max’s 2007 album The Blood, and “Love Feels Like”, a track on TobyMac’s 2015 album This Is Not a Test. The last album with the group was Solo.
TobyMac released his first solo album in 2001, titled Momentum. McKeehan composed and recorded the song “Extreme Days” for the 2001 Truth Builder Productions film Extreme Days, which was featured on the Momentum album. The song “Extreme Days” was used in the movie Hangman’s Curse, based on the popular book by Frank Peretti. His song “Get This Party Started” was featured on an episode of the TV show Roswell.
His song “Irene” was a big hit. His song “Yours” made it to the Top 5 on ChristianRock.net. Recently his songs “Yours”, “Extreme Days”, “Get This Party Started”, and “Momentum” were all featured in the Xbox 360 video game Crackdown. The momentum gained five Dove Awards and a Grammy nomination. He was also nominated at the 34th GMA Dove Awards for Artist of the Year.
He released his first Christmas album, This Christmas with only two tracks: “This Christmas” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” in 2002. In 2003, he remixed the Momentum album. This album was titled Re: Mix Momentum. His song “Yours” was used in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) as “Sting’s” Theme song. On Kirk Franklin’s 2002 album The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin he was featured on “Throw Yo Hands Up”.
In October 2004, Welcome to Diverse City was released and is certified gold. The album debuted and peaked on the Billboard 200 at No. 54, selling 21,000 copies that week. His “Winter Wonder Slam Tour” played throughout December 2006.
“The Slam” the album’s song was featured in the film Never Back Down, advertisements for the films Transporter 2, Aeon Flux, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, as well as advertisements for the television show Prison Break. The song was also featured in car commercials, men’s NCAA clips, NBA Finals (Miami Heat, 2006), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programming, NFL Football commercials, and “The Ultimate Highlight” on SportsCenter.
Former Ohio Valley Wrestling performer Matt Cappotelli used “The Slam” as his entrance theme. In the movie Never Back Down Toby’s song “The Slam” is featured in the main fight scene. “Diverse City” was featured in the Veronica Mars episode The Wrath of Con, as well as Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 4.
“Atmosphere” was used in a Volvo car commercial, “Burn For You” was used for cinnamon gum commercials (as well as on a Dr. Phil advertisement). The album gave TobyMac another Dove Award for Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year. A remix version of the album, Renovating->Diverse City, was released in 2005.
In 2007, McKeehan’s next album, titled Portable Sounds, was released and sold 50,645 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, and at No. 1 on the SoundScan Contemporary Christian Overall chart.
The album also received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. He won rock/contemporary album of the year for “Portable Sounds” at the 39th annual GMA Dove Awards. The songs “Made to Love” and “I’m For You” both hit No. 1 and were the second and third most played songs on Christian Hit Radio stations in 2007.
“Hype Man (truDog ’07)” features his son Truett. “Ignition” is being used by ABC/ESPN to promote its coverage of NASCAR, and “Boomin'” has also been used to promote a new crime-drama, The Women’s Murder Club, on ABC, as well as others.
His song “Feelin’ So Fly” appeared in the film The Game Plan, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson In September 2007, Recently, “Ignition” received worldwide exposure when it was used as the Arizona Cardinals entrance music during the pre-game of Super Bowl XLVII. Then in March 2011, it was played during NCAA tournament promo during Arizona vs UConn game. TobyMac was awarded two Dove Awards for his work on this album, including Artist of the Year.
His music video featuring the song “Boomin” was awarded a Dove Award for Short Form Music Video of the Year. Around this time also, he wrote his song, “New World” for “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and recorded the song “What We Gonna Do?” for the VeggieTales movie, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie. “Feelin’ So Fly” and “I’m for You” appear in Thrillville: Off the Rails.
In 2008, TobyMac released his first live album as a solo artist. Alive and Transported was a live recording of the Portable Sounds Tour in Houston, TX. It included covers of popular DC Talk songs “Jesus Freak” and “In the Light”. The album included a DVD of the concert and gained him a GMA Dove and a Grammy Award.
Tonight, TobyMac’s fourth studio release, was released on February 9, 2010. The album debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, selling 79,000 units in its first week. The album’s first single, “City on Our Knees”, was released on August 14, 2009.
The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs and No. 1 on both Christian AC and CHR. Christopher Stevens and Dave Wyatt joined McKeehan in producing the album, as with the production of his 2007 release, Portable Sounds. Truett, aka TruDog, Toby’s oldest son, was once again featured on a song as in the previous albums. The album is a mix of pop, rock, hip hop, Latin, and funk, similar to his album Portable Sounds.
The album charted No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard Christian albums chart; selling 79,000 units in its first week. He recently finished touring with Skillet and House of Heroes on the “Awake Tonight Tour”. “Wonderin'” features Relient K’s, Matthew Thiessen.
The title track of the new album is featured in the intro of MLB Network’s TV show 30 Clubs 30 Days. He announced the “Hello Tonight” summer 2010 tour in March, with Chris Tomlin. The song “City on Our Knees” earned TobyMac a Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year. The song “Showstopper” was used to promote World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) June 2010 Pay Per View, “Fatal 4-Way”, and was used at least once in NCAA Basketball. It was also used as an introduction to Thursday Night Football in 2009–2010.
“Tonight” the single was also used as a pregame introduction at home games for the Baltimore Orioles during the 2011 MLB season. The song was also promoted for ESPYS’ Best U.S Male Olympian. TobyMac’s “Tonight” was listed best Christian album of 2010 on iTunes and his Christmas single titled “Christmas This Year” featuring Leigh Nash, was awarded the holiday song of the week on iTunes. He won the “Artist of the Year” at the 2011 Dove Awards.
Additionally, the songs “Get Back Up” and “City on Our Knees” were recognized for being two of the Top 25 most-performed songs on Christian radio over the past year. TobyMac toured with Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Jason Gray, and Max Lucado on the World Vision-sponsored “Make a Difference Tour 2010”.
Tonight was nominated for a Grammy in the category “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album” for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. On October 4, 2011, TobyMac’s first full-length Christmas album, Christmas in Diverse City, was released. It contains songs from each of the Diverse City members as well as TobyMac.
Its other guest artists include Leigh Nash, Owl City, Jamie Grace, Victor Oquendo, Superheroes, Arch Nemesis, Tim Rosenau, Todiefunk, and Byron “Talkbox” Chambers. TobyMac released his third remix album, Dubbed and Freq’d: A Remix Project, on March 26, 2012, featuring remixes of songs from his prior two studio albums.
On 28th August 2012, his fifth full-length studio album, Eye on It, was released. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 1, which is a first for a Christian album since 1997, and sold 69,000 copies in its first week. The album fell to No. 8 on the second week with 26,000 sales.
The first single, “Me Without You”, was released on June 12th, 2012 to iTunes and Amazon MP3 and went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart on September 1, 2012, becoming the singer’s fifth chart-topper. “Family” was used in a promotional advertisement campaign for the show Blue Bloods. One showing of this advertisement was during the 2013 Super Bowl. “Forgiveness” is a collaboration with Christian rapper Lecrae. Although not released as a single, “Eye On It” was utilized by the ACC Network on its telecast of the 2013 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
On November 4th, 2014, a remix album, titled Eye’m All Mixed Up, which features remixes from the album Eye on It, was released. In 2014, during his “Worship, Stories, and Songs Tour”, he performed the first single from his new album, titled “Beyond Me”, which was released on January 6, 2015.
The single “Beyond Me” also appeared on Hot Shot Debut at No. 34 solely on the strength of radio airplay. This Is Not a Test, (stylized as “***This Is Not a Test***”) his sixth studio album, was released on August 7, 2015, and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
The album appeared on Top Christian Albums at No. 1, selling 35,000 copies in its first week. “Backseat Driver” was released as a promotional single from the album on June 9, 2015, which was later followed by “Til The Day I Die” on July 10, 2015, and “Feel It” on July 24, 2015. He released Light of Christmas on November 3, 2017. In January 2018, he released a single “I just need U”. In July 2018, he released “Everything” as a single.
TobyMac has written two books with Michael Tait and Kevin Max, Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs – Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks, and Jesus Freaks: Revolutionaries: Stories of Revolutionaries Who Changed Their World: Fearing God, Not Man. These books are mainly focused on Christian martyrs.
He has also written two more books with Michael Tait, one titled, Under God, containing stories of America’s spiritual battles, and another book called Living Under God: Discovering Your Part in God’s Plan. TobyMac has written a fifth book called City on Our Knees. The book is about how Christians past and present have set aside differences, come together in unity, and stepped forward in action and prayer.
TobyMac and his wife Amanda Levy McKeehan were married in 1994. Amanda comes from Jamaica and is the daughter of Judy and Robert Levy, of Jamaica Broilers fame.
He and his wife, Amanda McKeehan have a family of five children, including adopted twins. They are; Truett, born on September 4, 1998; twins Moses and Marlee, adopted in 2002; Leo, born on November 2, 2004, and Judah, born March 24, 2006.
TobyMac Body Measurements
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TobyMac Net Worth
He has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
Toby Mac Son’s Death
Christian rapper TobyMac’s 21-year-old son Truett Foster McKeehan has died suddenly at their Nashville home, a representative has confirmed. The aspiring rapper had collaborated with his dad on tracks. In a statement, a representative for the star said: ‘Truett did pass away at home’.
The cause of death has not been determined but the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed he died Wednesday. TobyMac is understood to have left during the middle of his week-long tour in Canada as news of the tragedy broke to be with his wife and other children. Fans were told the Grammy winner had to cancel due to a family emergency.
- Momentum – 2001
- Welcome to Diverse City – 2004
- Portable Sounds – 2007
- Tonight – 2010
- Christmas in Diverse City – 2011
- Eye on It – 2012
- This Is Not a Test – 2015
- Me Without You
- Speak Life
- Feel It
- Lights Shine Bright
- Til the Day I Die
- Lose My Soul
- Love Broke Thru
- Backseat Driver
- City on Our Knees
- Steal My Show
- Made to Love
- Eye On It
- Beyond Me
- This Is Not A Test
- Thankful For You
- Funky Jesus Music
- Get Back Up
- Love Feels Like
- Like A Match
- Christmas This Year
- The Slam
- Burn for You
- Feelin’ So Fly
- Bring On The Holidays
- Hey Devil
- I’m For You