Country Legend Toby Keith Passes Away

6 February 2024 | 10:19 pm | Stephen Green

Toby Keith succumbed to stomach cancer, aged 62

Toby Keith

Toby Keith (Source: Supplied)

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Toby Keith, one of the world’s great country singers has died after a battle with stomach cancer. Diagnosed in 2022, Keith passed peacefully on February 5, surrounded by his family, according to a post on his social media.

Keith had twenty #1 Billboard country hits and 42 top tens across his multi-decade career including How Do You Like Me Now?!, Should've Been A Cowboy, As Good As I Once Was, My List and Beer for My Horses, a duet with Willie Nelson.

Posting a statement to Instagram in 2022, Keith wrote: ‘Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery.’

Talking to News 9 he revealed ‘Cancer is a rollercoaster. You just sit here waiting for it to go away, it may never go away. ‘Thank god that I’ve got it. Because you take it for granted on days things are good, and you lean on it when things are bad. It’s taught me to lean on it a little more every day. I was diagnosed in October 21, and I was going through all the chemo. I got to the point in the spring, where I was comfortable with whatever happened. I had my brain wrapped around it and I was in a good spot either way. People without faith don’t have that.’

Keith was awarded the Icon Award in September at the People’s Choice Country Awards, where he performed Don’t Let The Old Man In, which would become one of his final performances.

Bursting onto the country scene in 1993 with his self-titled debut album, his first single, Should’ve Been A Cowboy, became the most-played country song of the 1990s, cementing his place as one of the most exciting country artists on the scene at the time. The hits continued across 19 studio albums, 2 Christmas albums and 5 compilation albums, topping over 40 million sales worldwide.

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Keith also owned a string of restaurants and bars across America as well as a clothing line and even a new drink ‘Wild Shot’. His career and business ventures made him one of the wealthiest people in country music with Forbes Magazine labeling him the “$500 million man” in 2013.

Keith toured Australia for the first time in 2014, playing CMC Rocks in the Hunter and doing various headline shows across the country.

He is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and children Shelley, Krystel and Stelen. Toby and Tricia set up the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006 to help children and their families dealing with cancer, leaving a charitable legacy that will join with his musical legacy as one of country music’s most revered figures.