This Saturday, Toby Keith — the singer who brought the world “Whiskey Girl,” “Who’s Your Daddy?” “I Love This Bar,” “Beer For My Horses,” and “Red Solo Cup” — will perform at a men-only concert in Saudi Arabia, where drinking alcohol is illegal.
What’s the occasion? Donald Trump’s visit, which — if this isn’t already sounding weird enough — will include a presidential speech on Islam.
A Trump speech on Islam followed by Rabeh Saqer and freaking Toby Keith. Let's pray they televise this entire disaster. pic.twitter.com/vzwirGuVqA
— Tobias Schneider (@tobiaschneider) May 18, 2017
Keith’s concert — which will also feature an Arabian lute player — is free, but only open to men.
This is in line with the country’s tradition of separating the sexes.
Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive, was ranked 141 out of 144 for gender parity in the most Global Gender Gap report.
Suffice it to say, the whole thing is almost too much for social media to handle:
Toby Keith playing a men-only concert in Saudi Arabia is historic. It's the 1st time being a woman in Saudi Arabia is a benefit.
— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) May 18, 2017
"Toby Keith To Perform At Men's Only Concert In Saudi Arabia" is a headline I just read. This is a thing that is happening.
— Mikael Aguilar (@MikaelWayne) May 19, 2017
"President Trump's Saudi Arabia speech on Islam was followed by a Toby Keith concert" will be the dumbest reason ever for a World War.
— Chris Jackson (@ChrisCJackson) May 18, 2017
Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia will feature Rabeh Saqer and Toby Keith, only thing missing is a dance off between Madonna and Fifi Abdou.
— Mustapha Itani (@mustaphahitani) May 18, 2017
Though it is unknown whether Keith’s performance is directly linked to the president’s visit, the two do have a history.
Keith was the only prominent artist to play at Donald Trump’s inauguration — where he was accompanied by 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys (a YouTube band best known for their cover of “Let it Go” from Frozen), and a sixteen-year-old runner-up from America’s Got Talent.
The country star faced backlash for his decision, but responded that he would never apologize for singing for his country.
Will he apologize for excluding people from one of his performances based solely on their gender?
Nope. His spokesperson offered “no comment.”
While Cowboy Keith’s presence in the country seems odd, it’s no less ironic than Trump’s.
The United States President has described Saudis as “people that push gays off buildings” and “kill women and treat women horribly.”
He has also repeatedly suggested that the Saudi Arabian government is responsible for the 9/11 attacks —
attacks that Toby Keith responded to with the song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” featuring aggressive lyrics presumably targeted at the Arab world.
“Now this nation that I love has fallen under attack
A mighty sucker punch came flyin’ in from somewhere in the back
Soon as we could see clearly
Through our big black eye
Man, we lit up your world
Like the fourth of July”
Maybe that will be his encore.
Next, take a closer look inside the dangerous U.S. – Saudi Arabia alliance. Then, see why a president who called Obama the “son of a whore” recently referred to Trump a “deep thinker.”