TobyMac Releases Emotional Song after Passing of Son


In October of 2019, news broke that sent shockwaves through the Contemporary Christian Music family. The son of CCM legend TobyMac had passed away unexpectedly. Truett Foster Mckeehan was 21 years old. 

Truett’s voice has been heard countless times by Life 90.5 listeners in a fan favorite song, “Backseat Driver.” Going by the title “Tru” at that time, he collaborated and recorded the song with his proud father and friend Hollyn. Since its release in 2015, the song has been a frequent song request from listeners, especially from the little ones who enjoy dancing along with it.

Toby's Heartache

On October 24, 2019, Toby wrote about his son with the love of a broken father…

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Truett Foster Mckeehan had joy that took the room when he entered. He was a magnetic son and brother and friend. If you met him, you knew him, you remembered him. His smile, his laugh, the encouragement he offered with words or even without. He had an untamable grand personality and dreams to match. And he hated being put in a box. He expressed himself through the music he made. And by made I mean, written, recorded, produced, mixed, and designed the art. All of it. A true artist. His first show was a week ago, and it was nothing short of electric. Everyone felt it, everyone knew it. He could’ve easily taken the easy route and put music out when he was 12, 14, 16, even 18, but he always said he wanted to live some life and have something to say before he did it. He didn’t want to be a child star, he wanted to be a man with scars and a story to tell. I always admired, respected and encouraged that stand. Truett always had a soft spot for God. The Bible moved him. His heart was warm to the things of his King. He was by no means a cookie cutter Christian but give me a believer who fights to keep believing. Give me a broken man who recognizes his need for a Savior every time. That’s who Truett was and how he should be remembered. My last moment with Truett in person was at his first show this past Thursday at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. I had to leave the next morning very early to fly and start our Canadian tour. As I stood in the audience and watched my son bring joy to a room, I was as proud as a “pop” (as tru called me) could be. It was the culminating moment of a dream that he had since he was 12. It couldn’t have been sweeter. Our music, and what we say lyrically couldn’t be more different, but the outcome was much the same… offering a room full of people a few minutes of joy in a crazy world. Our last text exchange is shared above (swipe). My wife and I would want the world to know this... We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under-the-table deal with Him, like, we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. And He is beautiful above all things.

A post shared by TobyMac (@tobymac) on

The Responses

This message has garnered more than a quarter of a million reactions and more than 20,000 comments of love and support. Other CCM artists were quick to share love, encouragement, and prayers upon hearing the news…

Bart Millard of MercyMe shared on Instagram,My heart hurts so badly for @tobymac and family. Jesus come quickly.”

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns posted, “We are praying for God’s peace in an unimaginable hurt. We pray That Toby and Amanda are surrounded by those who love them best during these dark days. We love you @tobymac

The evening of October 24, Sidewalk Prophets held a concert here in Wilmington. During that night of fun and worship, front man David Frey lead those gathered in a prayer for TobyMac and his family.

The Song

Following a cancelled Canadian tour and some much-needed time with his family during this season of heartache, TobyMac released a deeply emotional song. “21 Years” explores questions for his son, in addition to portions written straight from the heart of a broken father to the heart of the Heavenly Father…

“Did he see You from a long way off
Running to him with a Father’s heart
Did You wrap him up inside Your arms
And let him know, that he’s home”

As we have been urging you for the past several months, please continue to pray for TobyMac, his wife Amanda, and their other children in during this difficult time. Feel free to share those prayers or your thoughts on the song in the comments below.

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