Country music legend Toby Keith has sadly passed away 18 months after he revealed he had stomach cancer. He was 62-years-old at the time of his passing.
The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer-songwriter died peacefully on Monday, according to the country singer’s website. “He fought his fight with grace and courage,” the statement said.
“His story is a distinctly American one — a former roughneck oil worker who carved out his own space in country music with a sinewy voice and an unbending will to succeed. He wrote his breakthrough songs and later formed his own record label when he felt underserved by Nashville,” the statement read. “He relished being an outsider and doing things his way. Proudly patriotic, he didn’t mind if his clear-cut convictions ruffled your feathers. For three decades, he reflected the defiant strength of the country music audience. His memory will continue to stand tall.”
The legendary singer announced in June 2022 that he was living with stomach cancer and in September of last year, he spoke on his “roller coaster” experience of going through treatment.
“You get good days and, you know, you’re up and down, up and down. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today,” Keith told E! News ahead of receiving the Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Country Awards.
Keith was also known for his patriotism in his post 9/11 songs such as “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and other famous songs like “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup.”
Keith fought through his stomach cancer and performed in Las Vegas for over three nights in December. He was visibly thinner, but still performed many of his 32 No. 1 hits and 42 Top 10 hits.
The legendary country singer worked in the oil fields in Oklahoma as a young man, then played semi-pro football before beginning his career as a singer.
“I write about life, and I sing about life, and I don’t overanalyze things,” Keith told The Associated Press in 2001, following the success of his song “I’m Just Talking About Tonight.”
Keith was also known to be a major supporter of the U.S. military, spending a notable amount of time with the United Service Organizations (USO). He went on 11 USO tours to visit and perform for troops serving overseas.
The country legend also helped raise millions for charities during his career, which included building a home in Oklahoma CIty for kids with cancer and their families.