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Whether it had to do with Toby Keith's absence or not, ABC's July 4th special did not fare well in the ratings, according to the people at Nielsen Media Research.

The numbers show that ABC's special with Peter Jennings landed in 66th place with 4.6 million viewers, while NBC's coverage ranked 28th, with 7.9 million people tuning in.

Fans of Toby's -- protesting over his dismissal from the show -- organized their efforts and mailed a myriad of boots to the network hoping to get their point across. Add that to the dismal ratings of the special and there's no denying that the people have spoken.

Toby himself has been known to speak his mind, and says that he just can't live any other way. "I try to write as real as I can and that's what works for me," he says. "I believe that if I stay with the real stuff, then I get real results."

Toby's next album, "Unleashed," is scheduled to hit stores on July 23. (Get a $1 off HERE)

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