This week, country music star Toby Keith released his tribute to friend, peer and fellow Oklahoma native Wayman Tisdale in the form of his new music video for the single, “Cryin’ for Me.”

The former Suns forward, who passed away from bone cancer earlier this year, left the NBA hardwood in 1997 to focus on a new career in music. Tisdale released eight albums over the next 12 years, and certainly had no shortage of friends in either industry.

“I got up and called his voicemail, because I just couldn’t believe he was gone,” Keith told The Oklahoman‘s entertainment writer Brandy McDonnell. “I wanted to hear his voice one more time and then I wrote the song about it. It’s kind of a goodbye song; it’s kind of my way of venting my pain, if you will.”

The jazz-inspired video also features Tisdale’s genre contemporaries and friends Dave Koz, Marcus Miller and Arthur Thompson, who paid homage to the man who received the 2009 Courage Award during All-Star Weekend just a few months before his death.

“He was a grand individual and we really miss him,” Keith also mentioned in his interview with The Oklahoman. “It really hurt me (to lose him). I don’t deserve everything I’ve got. I don’t live that kind of perfect life, and I don’t know very many people who do. That was the saddest part for me was just what a great individual he was and how much he deserved to live. And it was difficult for me to understand why he was taken, but he was, and that’s not my decision.”

To read Suns.com’s tribute to No. 23, CLICK HERE.   

To see Tisdale’s Suns career in photos, CLICK HERE.        

To see Toby Keith’s “Cryin’ for Me” (courtesy of CMT), CLICK HERE.