TobyMac Shares Emotional Tribute to Late Son Truett, 21, During Concert: 'It's Been Really Hard'

TobyMac opened up to the audience about his son's death during his Los Angeles concert

Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

TobyMac took a moment to remember his late son while performing at the L.A. Forum on Saturday night.

The Christian singer, 55, was performing as part of his Hits Deep arena tour when he paused to address the recent death of his 21-year-old son, Truett Foster McKeehan.

“I just want to start out by telling you it’s been really hard,” the Grammy winner, born Kevin McKeehan, said at the opening of the show, as seen in videos taken by fans. “But I want to thank you for the letters that have been sent to us, the cards, the social media posts to encourage us — but mostly, I want to say, thank you for the prayers. And I know by no means are we the only ones going through something hard. I know you guys are going through your own pain and heartache and loss.”

TobyMac’s eldest son McKeehan, 21, died on Oct. 23. of an accidental overdose of fentanyl and amphetamines, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE in January. The Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that medics responded to a cardiac arrest call at the family’s Tennessee home.

“And a friend once told me this: ‘When you experience something like that you’re going to start reaching for things that you think are the promises of God… but maybe they weren’t things that God promised at all. He didn’t promise us that we wouldn’t experience heartbreak or pain or loss.’ But he said, ‘Make sure you find what he did promise us. And that is that he will never leave us or forsake us,’ ” the father of five continued.

“I’m hanging onto that promise for myself and you as well as my son,” TobyMac said. “And I just want to say, we came from Nashville to love on you guys with some music. So let’s do that.”

Truett Foster McKeehan TobyMac
TobyMac and son Truett Foster McKeehan. TobyMac/Instagram

TobyMac later brought up his son again during the concert, according to Variety, telling the audience he knows he will see him again one day.

“A lot of people have come up to me and said, ‘You know what, Toby? You’re gonna see him again.’ And I believe that with all my heart. I truly do,” he said, in another video shared by a fan. “But the question is, why? Why do I get to see him again? Because his goods outweigh his bads? No. Nah, he was my wild child. His good didn’t outweigh his bad, just like my good doesn’t outweigh my bad. I get to see him again for one reason: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’ I’m holding onto that.”

TobyMac also reportedly performed his musical eulogy to his son, “21 Years,” which he released in January.

McKeehan was an aspiring rapper and released music on various platforms under the names TRU, Shiloh and Truett Foster. Over the years, he also joined forces with his father, who wrote the song “Scars” after his eldest son left home to pursue his dreams.

TobyMac previously paid tribute to his late son in an emotional statement after his death.

“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,” he wrote in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “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.”

TobyMac went on to praise his son’s musical talents, calling him a “true artist.”

“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,” the singer shared, before reflecting on his son’s first show a week before he died, which 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,” he said.

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