How Do You Like Me Now!?

Album: How Do You Like Me Now!? (1999)
Charted: 31


  • In this song, Toby Keith recalls his unrequited attraction with a female valedictorian back in his high school years who never paid any attention to him. He wonders if she remembers him now that he's famous. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Landon - Winchester, OH
  • Keith co-wrote this with Chuck Cannon. He explained in publicity materials: "Chuck and I have had so much success together. We started writing this song right after we finished another one. We got through the first verse, and I was just blown away by it. Chuck thought it was kinda okay, but when you've just got a little piece of a song, it sometimes doesn't stick out when you've got a finished product layin' there. I kept telling him this was gonna be a big song if we could just nail it. It took us about six months to get back to it after that. But we finally did get back together - and nailed it."
  • This spent 5 weeks at #1 on the country chart and according to Billboard, it was the biggest selling country song of 2000.
  • This was the lead song on the album, but when Keith gave it to his record company (Mercury) they informed him that most of the tracks on the CD, for lack of a better word, "sucked." He asked if he could have the songs back and they told him he could buy them back, which he did. He then walked across the street (to DreamWorks) and sold the album for twice as much. He fondly recalled being able to sing "How Do You Like Me Now!?" at the CMA Awards, all the while thinking of his former company. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Talena - Arcata, CA
  • Keith said in 2000 regarding the inspiration for the tune: "A lot of people become successful after they've been told they won't ever be. So people can relate to this. It can be about an old flame or a boss or a teacher - whatever it means to each individual. It was a fun song to write."

Comments: 11

  • Jsail from Hood River OregonCatchy tune but the lyrics are like something written by a bitter incel. Some fella likes a girl and since she doesn't reciprocate any interest in him, he attempts to trash her name and label her a whore.
    How would such a woman like him after he became famous and reminded her of his behavior in a song that gets popular on the radio? I think she would be probably 10x as repulsed as she ever was by him.
    I like Toby and I love country, but this song is just a cringefest.
  • Country Radio Dj from MissouriCalm down Bob! I'm researching for a "story behind the song" segment for my show and all I can find are your comments about how you wrote this song. Could you offer some physical proof?
  • Bob from CaliforniaFor anyone who cares here is some of the texting Toby Keith & I did startin May 2019 this year after 25 years of Toby ignoring me and telling everyone he wrote my song "How Do You Like Me Now". He 1st called my cell phone and I missed the call so I dialed him back from my caller ID and got voice mail so I texted him and we stared a conversation. He talks a lot in circles but never actual admits that he lied. When I copied this from my phone text it came out weird with code but if you take your time you can read the content, there is more I will post later::

    Who is this, you are from Oklahoma? It Toby Yes from Oklahoma Just text me am at the studio Ok I'm here. What's up Toby Am good and you I'm just fine. Are we discussing the song or what. It's been 26 years now since I played my song for you at that little bar in the desert in California Have listened to any of my music now Christian songs Okay now you are into Christian songs Yes , don't live a sinful lifestyle anymore Okay good for youDo you want to sign a contract with me Where are you now I am at my home office in Big Bear City California. What sort of contract are you referring to 2 years contract with me Oh okay you have a home office What would be the terms of the contract You can hear my songs at Under Cowboybobwallace Okaywww.numberonemusic/cowboybobwallace.comI will listen to it Okay Cool You with your family I live with my wife Do you have kids now My son 48 years old lives in Georgia with 5 grand kids. My son showcased for Clive Davis about 20 years at Arista. My son has played The Crimson Moon Dahlonega and so has Chuck Cannon Oh really that good He is a good boy How old are you now 68 Oh I was 42 when I met you in California In 1993 Yes I know that a long time ago it â??s took me so minutes to remember I played 3 or 4 of my songs for you using your guitar and you didn't like any till I played How do you like me now. ð???You still remember all that yep all There were only about 6 people in that little bar that night and I asked you why a great band like yours was playing in this dive and you said you had just signed with Mercury and just finished Should've Been and hadn't made any money yet but still had to eat. I told you I knew you were going to be big. Thanks baby Sorry I mean brother Typing So where did you get the song you played on The Voice last night I will text you later CoolI will text you later Am very busy at the studio Did you save the bar napkins that I wrote the lyrics to How Do You Like Me Now. That the chords on them also. Also that night I told the song should have a Doobie Brothers listen to the music kind of shuffle. Which you and Chuck did very well on the arrangement. When I 1st heard the on the radio I was so impressed and couldn't believe how close to what I had in mind for the song you put together. I don't know if you will ever make this thing right or not but I will always know that I had a little to do with the advancing of the career of
  • Bob from CaliforniaJim from Ft. Myers I was a Deejay at WKWF-Radio in Key West back in 1974 (Country Station)in the La Concha Hotel on Duval.
  • Bob from CaliforniaAll of Toby's statements about he and Chuck Cannon writing my song "How Do You Like Me Now" are just FLAT-OUT LIES! Yea, Toby was blown away the 1st time I played it for him in that Bar he was playing back in 1993 between their music sets and he asked me if I could stay till their next break and play it for him again so he could get it better in his mind. I agreed and wrote all the lyrics on bar napkins and told him the arrangement should have a kind of Doobie Brothers shuffle and he said he could hear that. All I asked Toby for that night was a pick up truck if the song went anywhere, well, it made him millions and even after making some contact with TOBY that's all I have asked for but he doesn't want the embarrassment of admitting he lied so through some communications by text Toby offered me some kind of 2 year contract but never specified any details and he also said he would pay for some studio time for me somewhere but that never happened. In an effort to keep him from being embarrassed with the lie I asked him to record and release another of my songs and pay me royalties on it's sales and he never replied to that either. I have tried multiple ways to clean this up but Toby is a not willing to deal with the actual truth. I entrusted him with my song that I wrote in the late 70's and he just continues to prove he is a liar and has no class whatsoever. I would love to get Toby in a court room and get him under oath saying he wrote my song, I didn't copyright the song, my mistake, but I have plenty of witnesses now that heard meplay and sing the song years before the days of Toby Keith fame. You know Toby, this would be so simple to remedy but I guess if you have no character that ain't gonna happen. So, Toby, just in case you ever get honest I am posting my mailing address again like many times before, you have my telephone number and I have proof you called me and I also have copied all the many texts between me and you. Anyone wanted to see those texts and emails I will be glad to show them. Bob Wallace, P.O.Box 3913, Big Bear Lake, Ca. 92315
  • Jim from Fort Myers, FlaI know what you mean Bob. Toby and his staff, in Key West several yrs ago, were at the Schooner Wharf bar and heard key west icon, Michael McCloud, singing his years old hit "Tourist Town Bar". Toby's hit, "I love this bar" has almost identical lyrics as they were taking notes while Michael was singing the day they (Toby and his staff) were in Key West at the Schooner Wharf bar. They were in the area for a recording session. The mistake Michael made was hiring a local attorney with no real clout compared to Sony International, representing Toby, in the matter of stealing the lyrics that made Toby millions. Michael has performed with Jimmy Buffett and others over the years and did not even get a "bone" thrown in from Toby for the theft of his lyrics. Unbelievable, but true
  • Bob from CaliforniaWhy Toby would flat out lie that he wrote my song and even worse conjure a story of where his inspiration came from. The word "Validictorion" was from my original lyrics and the chorus is almost exactly the way I wrote it. You know, I really have no reason to lie that I wrote How Do You Like Me Now, I am not trying to get any of Toby's money, I mean, He already gave half of to Chuck Cannon and made Chuck believe in this lie and my FB back and forth conversation with Chuck he swore he remembers he and Toby writing the song. Well of course he does, especially when he fears if he admitted to truth it may cost him some of the royalty money and again to you Chuck Cannon, I don't want any of the money, just quit lying about writing my song, you did maybe do the arrangement and polish it up for Toby but to say you and Toby wrote MY SONG How Do You Like Me Now which I had originally titled it Do You Still Think I'm Crazy you are simply flat out lying. Toby and Chuck are both great performers, but, insofar a being shining stars, well they will never be, they will remain small in the eyes of many and especially in my eyes until they fess up. SHAME ON YOU TOBY KEITH, I do not see how you can live with yourself knowing this huge lie is one reason you have risen to the heights you have accomplished. You know, you could have at least said that some drunk in a bar in California gave you the song, you could have even said you can remember my name, but, you DID NOT write How Do You Like Me Now. Just in case you can't remember my name Toby it's Bob Wallace. (PS: Folks, I have contacted Toby's label over the years, I have tried to contact Toby personally with no success. I did get a response one time from someone at his label that said that I may have given Toby an idea for a song. Problem is, I did not have a copyright on the song at the time so I have no proof of ownership, this is totally an integrity issue now, so, does Toby have any integrity or will he carry they guilt of this lie for the rest of his days?)
  • Bob from CaliforniaHere is a sample of a song I wrote and recorded a few years back, just so you know I am actually a songwriter
  • Bob from CaliforniaFrom the very 1st time I heard Toby Keith playing in that little bar in Victorville, Ca. on Bear Valley Rd. I new he was going to be a big star, that's why I wanted to pitch songs to him. I played a couple other songs that I had written, Toby went up to the stage and brought down his guitar for me to play, but, he wasn't interested till I played "How Do You Like Me Now" for him. He loved my song right from the beginning and asked if he could take the song and maybe record it later. Toby said that he would take care of me if the song did anything with the song and I replied that I wanted a bright red NEW Dodge Turbo Diesel pick up truck and Toby said that he would do it and more depending on how big the song went. How easy they forget. Maybe Toby thinks I am no longer around since I did have a pretty bad alcohol problem in those days. You know what, all I want is to not be ignored for my writing of the song, it isn't 100% exactly like I wrote now, but, the majority of the song remains the same and even Toby admits to the Doobie Brothers sounding in the song. This is very-very disappointing! Peace, CBW
  • Bob from CaliforniaYou know, I agree that Chuck Cannon is one mighty fine songwriter, but, one thing is for sure, he did not write my song "How Do You Like Me Now" I wrote the song in 1978 and gave it to Toby Keith in a bar in Victorville, California back in 1993 when Toby had just completed recording with Mercury Records his Should've Been A Cowboy album. I played the song for Toby on his own guitar while the band was on break and waited till after the next set and break at Toby's request to play it for him again so I did and I wrote the lyrics on a bar napkin and told Toby it should have a sort of Doobie Brothers Listen to the Music sort of arrangement which I am sure that Chuck probably supplied that arrangement and licks. It is my opinion that Toby Keith probably brought my song "How Do You Like Me Now" to Chuck to help Toby get the song ready for recording and so the two of them polished up my song and Toby never told Chuck the actual origin of the song. I am in no way trying to defame Chuck, I believe in the beginning he was innocent especially since he was once the president of the NSAI which I am a former member, the Nashville Songwriters Association is a multi purpose org and one of it's missions is to help songwriters protect their songs, right Chuck. I did not have copyright protection on my song when I gave it to Toby Keith that night so Toby slapped his own copyright on it but that still does not set aside the truth and the fact that I wrote the original song "How Do You Like Me Now" I have contacted Toby's label and they shine me on knowing I don't have that copyright. You know, integrity is one thing that is set aside by some in the music business and there are a few who think honesty doesn't mean anything once you pockets are full enough to walk all over those little people who are actually the real creators of a lot of the material we all listen to today. So folks, stay tuned, I am going totally public as I can with this, magazines, writing a book, maybe a movie script and I hope and pray that none of you songwriters out there ever get dupped like this, remember, always copyright, just go to the Library of Congress site on the internet for details in case you don't know how to copyright. Oh yea, just in case anyone wants to go to court over this, I'd love to get Toby's word under oath that he wrote my song, then we can see just how that goes. Peace, CBW
  • Kim from Birmingham, AlI think this song reflects many "wanna be" relationships between a boy and girl in high school. Ironic how many of them turn out this way.
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