TobyMac: Wikis


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TobyMac on the Winter Wonder Slam Tour in 2005
Background information
Birth name Toby Michael McKeehan
Born October 22, 1964 (1964-10-22) (age 45)
Fairfax, Virginia
Genres Christian hip hop, Christian rock, rapcore
Occupations Singer-songwriter, music producer, author
Years active 1987–present[1]
Labels ForeFront Records
Associated acts DC Talk, DJ Maj, Kevin Max, Michael Tait, The Gotee Brothers, Newsboys, Randall Crawford, John Reuben, Carman, Grits

Toby Michael McKeehan[2] (born on October 22, 1964 in Fairfax, Virginia), professionally known as tobyMac, is an American Grammy Award-winning artist, producer and songwriter. tobyMac is one of the first Christian rappers. He was first known for being a member of the Christian singing trio DC Talk, staying with them from 1989 until their announced hiatus in 2000. He has since continued a successful solo career with the release of four studio albums: Momentum (2001), Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), and Tonight (2010), as well as two remixed albums of the first two albums titled Re:Mix Momentum and Renovating Diverse City, respectively. Between DC talk and his own solo career, he has sold more than 10 million albums.[3] TobyMac has had six #1 hit CHR singles[4] including "Gone", "Made to Love" and "Lose My Soul." His live concert CD+DVD combo album, Alive and Transported, was released in 2008 and received the Grammy Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album at the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009.[5] His fourth studio album, Tonight, was released on February 9, 2010.


Musical career

dc Talk (1988–2001)

Toby McKeehan met Michael Tait and Kevin Max while attending Liberty University in the late 1980s. Together they formed the four-time grammy winning band dc Talk[6] and released 5 acclaimed studio albums. DC Talk's original sound was Christian hip-hop, but in 1995 they reinvented themselves with the release of the guitar-heavy Jesus Freak. Although they had won a Grammy for their earlier work, this album was a significant milestone, selling over five million copies, making it a double platinum record.

DC Talk's latest album was released in 2001. The album Intermission: the Greatest Hits was a dc Talk compilation put together when the group members started their "intermission". The members were pursuing individual careers then, and at the time assured fans that dc Talk had not split up, but rather they were simply taking "an intermission." More recently, comments from the band members, have implied that dc Talk will not regroup.

Kevin Max writes on his official website's message board, "DC Talk is something of the past. In order for DC Talk to be anything of the future, it will be up to each individual member to come together to create something that is lasting and substantial. There is an audience out there interested in seeing DC Talk back together as a group and as an entertaining and creative force, but I feel that the spirit of the thing is dead. I appreciated the time that we had together those many years, and I thank God many times over for allowing me to be a part of something that was so far reaching and helped so many people, but to be honest, just doing a show to do a show is not interesting to me. It must be thought out, creative and passionate."

The band has not toured together since 2001 (except for one time in Redmond, Washington in 2005 when they toured together for the last time ever). dc Talk reunited to perform a song on the album Let's Roll about the events on September 11, 2001, on TobyMac's second album Welcome to Diverse City (They appeared on the song "Atmosphere (Remix)", and also on Kevin Max's album The Blood in the song "The Cross".

Solo career

TobyMac's solo music differs from dc Talk's rock-based musical style, leaning toward a more urban, hip hop sound. His sound is much more reminiscent of what was heard when dc Talk originally started out, on the albums, DC Talk, Nu Thang and Free At Last.

Momentum (2001–2003)

In 2001, TobyMac released his first solo album 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 also 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 Yours" made it to the Top 5 on His songs "Yours", "Extreme Days", "Get This Party Started", and "Momentum" were all recently featured in the Xbox 360 video game Crackdown. Momentum gained five Dove Awards and a Grammy nomination. In 2003 Tobymac completely remixed the Momentum album and this album was titled Re: Mix Momentum.

Welcome to Diverse City (2004–2006)

Welcome to Diverse City was released in October 2004. The album debuted and peaked on the Billboard 200 at number 54, selling 21,000 copies that week. The album's song "The Slam" 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. Ohio Valley Wrestling performer Matt Cappotelli (who currently is unable to perform due to a brain tumor) uses "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. "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.

Portable Sounds (2007–2008)

McKeehan's next album, titled Portable Sounds, was released in 2007 and sold 50,645 copies in its first week, debuting at #10 on the Billboard 200, and at #1 on the SoundScan Contemporary Christian Overall chart.[7] The album also received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.[8] The songs "Made to Love" and "I'm For You" both hit #1 and were the second and third most played songs on Christian Hit Radio stations in 2007.[9]. "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. In September 2007, his song "Feelin' So Fly" appeared in the film The Game Plan starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Recently, "Ignition" received worldwide exposure when it was used as the Arizona Cardinals entrance music during the pre-game of Super Bowl XLIII.

Tonight (2010)

TobyMac's fourth studio release, Tonight, was released on February 9, 2010. The album debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200, selling 79,000 units in its first week. [1] The album's first single, "City on Our Knees", was released on August 14. The song reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs and #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 be featured on a song as in the previous albums. The album is a mix of pop, rock, hip-hop, and funk, similar to his album Portable Sounds. The album charted #6 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Billboard Christian albums chart; selling 79 000 units in its first week. [10] He will be touring with Skillet and House of Heroes on the "Awake Tonight Tour" in March and April 2010.The song Tonight is featured in the intro of MLB Network's TV show 30 Clubs 30 Days.

Other work

TobyMac has written two books with Michael Tait and Kevin Max entitled, Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs - Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks,[11] and, Jesus Freaks: Revolutionaries: Stories of Revolutionaries Who Changed Their World: Fearing God, Not Man (Jesus Freaks).[12]. These books are mainly focused on Christian martyrs. Toby Mac has also written two more books with Michael Tait, one titled, "Under God,"[13] containing stories of America's spiritual battles, and another book called, "Living Under God: Discovering Your Part In God's Plan."[14]

TobyMac is the president of the record label Gotee Records. Gotee features artists such as DJ Maj, Relient K and John Reuben and new artist B. Reith. However, as a recording artist, TobyMac is under contract with ForeFront Records.

Personal life

McKeehan and his wife Amanda (Mandy) were married in 1994.[15] Amanda, who comes from Jamaica, is the daughter of Judy and Robert Levy (of Jamaica Broilers fame). Being married to a Jamaican, and with regular visits to the island, TobyMac is well immersed in Jamaican music, language and other aspects of local culture.[16] Toby and Mandy live in Franklin, Tennessee.

They have five children: Truett, born September 4, 1998; twins Moses and Marlee were adopted in 2002; Leo, born on November 2, 2004,[1] and Judah, born March 24, 2006.[1]

Truett has appeared on the albums Momentum, Re:Mix Momentum, This Christmas, Welcome to Diverse City, Renovating Diverse City, Portable Sounds and Tonight as the artist "TruDog." Judah McKeehan has appeared on the album Tonight on the track with Truett.


Studio albums

Remix albums

Live albums



  • "Momentum DVD"
  • "Portable Sights"
  • "Alive and Transported"


Grammy Award nominations
GMA Dove Award awards
  • 2002: Rap/Hip Hop Album (Momentum)
  • 2002: Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song ("Somebody's Watching Me")
  • 2003: Short Form Music Video ("Irene")
  • 2005: Rap/Hip Hop Album (Welcome to Diverse City)
  • 2006: Rock Recorded Song ("The Slam")
  • 2006: Special Event Album of the Year (Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
  • 2008: Artist of the Year
  • 2008: Short Form Music Video of the Year ("Boomin'")
  • 2008: Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year ("Portable Sounds")
  • 2009: Long Form Music Video of the Year (Alive and Transported)
Video Awards
  • 2007: Rock Video ("Boomin")
  • 2007: Video of the Year ("Boomin")
  • 2009: Pop Video of the Year ("Lose My Soul")
  • 2009: Video of the Year ("Lose My Soul")

Music videos

Guest appearances


See also


  1. ^ a b c d TobyMac Discography, TobyMac Lyrics, Toby Mac, Toby MacKeehan
  2. ^ Williams, Preston (May 15, 2008). "Giving Up Sports Has Never Sounded So Good". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Richard O. Jones (2009-01-23). "Francesca Battistelli brings theater perspective to Christian music". The Middletown Journal. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  5. ^ "The 51st Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ News
  8. ^
  9. ^ 2007 Year End Charts/Top Christian CHR songs, R&R magazine, Retrieved January 6, 2008
  10. ^
  11. ^ Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and the Voice of the Martyrs: Books
  12. ^ He also performs in "Rock the Universe" in Universal Studios and "Night of Joy" in Walt Disney World every September every year. Toby usually alternates between Rock the Universe and Night of Joy. Jesus Freaks: Revolutionaries: Stories of Revolutionaries Who Changed Their World: Fearing God, Not Man (Jesus Freaks): dc Talk: Books
  13. ^ Under God: Toby Mac, Michael Tait, Toby Mac: Books
  14. ^ Living Under God: Discovering Your Part in Gods Plan: Baker Publishing Group, Michael Tait: Books
  15. ^ Biography of Gospel Hip Hop Artist tobyMac Retrieved 2009-08-23
  16. ^ Mind and Spirit - Chatting with a Christian ROCKER Retrieved 2009-08-23

External links

Simple English

Kevin Michael "Toby" McKeehan
tobyMac in 2005 at Winter Wonder Slam
Background information
Birth name Kevin Michael McKeehan
Born October 22, 1964 (1964-10-22) (age 46)
Fairfax, Virginia
Genres Rapcore
Christian hip hop
Christian rock
Contemporary Christian
Pop rock
Rap Rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Years active 1987–present[1]
Labels ForeFront Records
Associated acts dc Talk

Kevin Michael "Toby" McKeehan (born October 22, 1964 in Fairfax, Virginia), better known as tobyMac, is a well known Christian singer from the band dcTalk. The band separated in 2000 for solo jobs. Some of his most famous songs are Made to Love, Burn for You, and Boomin. His most recent album is Alive and Transported, a live album.



Studio albums

Year Title Label(s) Status Peak Position

(Billboard 200)

2001 Momentum ForeFront Records Gold [2] #110
2004 Welcome to Diverse City ForeFront Records Gold [2] #54
2007 Portable Sounds ForeFront Records Gold [3] #10
2009 TBA ForeFront Records

Remix albums

Year Title Label(s)
2003 Re:Mix Momentum ForeFront Records
2005 Renovating Diverse City ForeFront Records

Live albums

Year Title Label(s)
2008 Alive and Transported ForeFront Records


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