Toby Keith dies; modern country superstar loses cancer battle at 62

Toby Keith, the Grammy-nominated country superstar, has passed away at 62 after a battle with stomach cancer.

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Toby Keith

Toby Keith, the musician who helped bring country music to new heights in the 1990s and beyond, has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 62.

In a statement posted to social media, his family wrote, “Toby Keith passed away peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Toby Keith announced his stomach cancer diagnosis in 2022, writing, “Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax. I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”

Through songs like “Should’ve Been a Cowboy”, “Wish I Didn’t Know Now” and “How Do You Like Me Now?!”, Toby Keith marked himself as one of the biggest names in modern country. This only built into the next century, with Keith hitting on his target demographic through songs like the post-9/11 anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)”, the Willie Nelson collaboration “Beer for My Horses” and “As Good as I Once Was.” “Beer for My Horses” would inspire a 2008 movie of the same name.

In addition to climbing the charts to prove himself as one of the premiere country artists, Toby Keith would also go on to win a pair of Country Music Awards, a surprisingly low number considering. He would also garner seven Grammy Award nominations and a dozen ACMS, including the Merle Haggard Spirit Award in 2021. Last year he won the Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Awards. Toby Keith sold more than 40 million albums throughout his career, making him one of the best-selling country artists ever, up there with the likes of Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney.

According to setlist.fm, Toby Keith’s last concert was in December.

Leave your condolences for the late Toby Keith in the comments section below, along with your favorite song of his.

Source: People

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.