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The Death of Toby Keith

Country Music Icon’s Battle With Cancer Ends

Photo by fishhawk / CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original

Toby Keith, popular country singer and songwriter, died in his home state of Oklahoma on Feb. 5, at age 62.

In 2022, the singer announced on X, formerly Twitter, that he had previously been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2021, but had been through around six months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery since. Keith told the Oklahoma newspaper that things were starting to look up considering that his tumor had shrunk a third in size. Things took a sharp turn last Monday when Keith’s official website announced his death and asked that people respect his family’s privacy during this time.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family,” Keith’s website said. “He fought his fight with grace and courage.”

Known for his popular songs “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” the singer came to fame in the early 90’s after touring with the Easy Money Band and later signing with Mercury Records. Keith had around 20 Number 1 Billboard Hits including No. 1, “Don’t Let the Old Man In” and No. 5, “How Do You Like Me Now?!” among 20 others. He was loved by many because of his humor, talent and attitude. He was known for not letting others affect him like record labels who wanted to adopt him and change his image.

“It’s gonna leave a hole [in the country music industry],” senior Brinkley Snow said. “He was a really great musician.”

Keith will be remembered by many for his music and the impact he left on the world. Several country music stars including Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Zach Bryan and Luke Combs mourned the loss of the singer. Popular country artist Blake Shelton spoke out as well after his death in an interview with People Magazine.

"I hope one day to get to see him up in Heaven,” Shelton said. “Thank God we have his wonderful music to keep us company, even though he's not here on earth with us."


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