tobyMac Artistfacts

  • October 22, 1964
  • TobyMac is the former frontman of the Christian hip-hop/pop-rock trio DC Talk, which was formed in 1987 at Liberty University, a private evangelical school in Virginia. Before giving the name to the group, Toby used the moniker DC Talk when he rapped around the Washington, DC, area. He was hesitant to share the title with his bandmates, Michael Tait and Kevin Max ("That's like telling three people they're Lecrae," he joked), but it worked out for the best. After popularizing rap in the Christian music scene with their first few releases, they earned mainstream acclaim with their 1995 album, Jesus Freak.

    Shortly after the band announced their hiatus to pursue solo careers, Toby released his debut solo album, Momentum, in 2001. It was nominated for Best Rock Gospel Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards.
  • TobyMac's real name is Kevin Michael McKeehan. He earned the nickname Toby from his older brother, who was excitedly awaiting his due date in October - only he couldn't pronounce the month, so it came out "Tober," which was shortened to Toby.
  • All of eight of his solo albums have reached the Top 10 of the Christian Albums chart. His fifth album, Eye On It (2012), featuring the hit single "Me Without You," was the only one to peak at #1 on the genre-spanning Billboard 200.
  • The first albums he ever bought were the Steve Miller Band's Greatest Hits 1974-1978 and Kool & The Gang's Ladies' Night (1979). Shortly after, he became interested in rap music after hearing it for the first time on the radio. He had to take the bus to a music store in downtown DC because no one sold rap in the suburbs.
  • He garnered his first Grammy Award as a solo artist when 2008 live album, Alive And Transported won Best Rock Gospel Album at the 2009 ceremony.
  • He has five children with his wife, Amanda, whom he married in 1994. Their oldest son, Truett aka TruDog, was an aspiring rapper who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2019 at age 21. Toby dedicated the song "21 Years" to his memory.
  • In 1994, Toby and his wife bought the historic Alpheus Truett House in Franklin, Tennessee. Built in 1846, it was commandeered during the Civil War by Union Major General John M. Schofield, who used the home as his headquarters during the Battle of Franklin in 1864.
  • In 1994, he co-founded the label Gotee Records to launch the new Christian R&B group Out Of Eden with their debut album, Lovin' The Day. Gotee became the home of many other popular Christian acts, including Relient K, Sonicflood, and Ryan Stevenson.
  • He's also written hit songs for other Christian acts, including Audio Adrenaline ("Can't Take God Away"), Carman ("Addicted To Jesus"), Lisa Bevill ("Chaperone," "It's Gonna Be Worth It"), and Jamie Grace ("Hold Me").


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