Toby McKeehan (born October 22, 1964 in Fairfax, Virginia), professionally known as TobyMac, is a professional musician, producer, and songwriter. He was first known for being one third of the Christian music group 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 three studio albums; Momentum (2001), Welcome to Diverse City (2004), and Portable Sounds (2007), as well as two remixed versions of his first two albums, titled , and Renovating Diverse City.
In his childhood, Toby grew up in Annandale, Virginia. He attended Pine Ridge Elementary, a school with fewer than 300 students during the years that Toby attended (1970-1977) .He later attended Luther Jackson Intermediate during the first few months of his 7th grade school year. Both schools were mentioned in his song "Extreme Days".
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 though, comments from the band members, most notably from Kevin Max, 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."
dc Talk reunited to perform a song on the album Let's Roll about the events on September 11, 2001, on Toby'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".
McKeehan composed and recorded the song "Extreme Days" for the 2001 Truth Builder Productions film Extreme Days. The song was subsequently featured on the 2001 debut tobyMac album Momentum and was used in the movie, Hangman's Curse, based on the popular book by Frank Peretti. McKeehan also composed and performed the song "New World" for the album Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. His 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. "Diverse City" was featured in the Veronica Mars episode, The Wrath of Con. Ohio Valley Wrestling performer Matt Cappotelli (who currently is unable to perform due to a brain tumor) uses "The Slam" as his entrance theme. Many more of Toby's songs have also been used in commercials. "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), "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 "Get This Party Started" was featured on an episode of the TV show Roswell. His songs "Yours", "Extreme Days", "Get This Party Started", and "Momentum" were all recently featured in the Xbox 360 video game Crackdown. In September 2007, his song "Feelin' So Fly" appeared in the film The Game Plan starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Tampa Bay Rays player Ben Zobrist uses "Ignition" as his entrance song when he comes up to bat.
Portable Sounds 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. The album also received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. 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.
Toby is also the President of record label Gotee Records. Gotee features artists such as DJ Maj, Relient K, and John Reuben. However, as a recording artist, he is under contract with ForeFront Records.
Toby's band on his albums and his live shows has become known as "The Diverse City Band". In 2007 they recorded their first single as a band; "Party (Citizens Come Out)". The song is featured on the Hip Hop compilation album, "Hip Hope 2008".
|Year||Title||Label(s)||Status||Peak Position (Billboard 200)|
|2004||Welcome to Diverse City||ForeFront Records||Gold||#54|
|2007||Portable Sounds||ForeFront Records||#10|
|2005||Renovating Diverse City||ForeFront Records|
|2008||Alive and Transported||ForeFront Records|
|2007||Portable Sights||ForeFront Records|
|2008||Alive and Transported||ForeFront Records|