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Country singer Toby Keith dies at 62

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Country music icon Toby Keith passed away at the age of 62 after an 18-month battle with stomach cancer. Renowned for his hit song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” Keith died on Monday, surrounded by his family, as confirmed in a statement.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5,” the statement began.

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“He fought his fight with grace and courage.

“Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Toby Keith, known for hits like “Beer for My Horses,” “I Love This Bar,” and “Red Solo Cup,” disclosed in June 2022 that he was battling cancer. He underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery for treatment. A year later, he shared with The Oklahoman newspaper that the tumor had shrunk by a third. In September 2023, he spoke about the ups and downs of his treatment journey, describing it as a “roller coaster” experience.

“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.

Despite his illness, Toby Keith persisted in recording and performing. In December, he performed live over three nights in Las Vegas. Despite appearing visibly thin, he delivered strong vocal performances, singing many of his 32 No.1 hits and 42 Top 10 hits.

“Three sold out shows in Vegas was a damn good way to end the year,” he wrote on Instagram.

Keith was described by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as being “big, brash, and never bowed down or slowed down for anyone”.

“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,” a statement read.

“He wrote his breakthrough songs and later formed his own record label when he felt underserved by Nashville.

“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.”

Keith leaves behind his wife, Tricia Lucus, and their three children, Krystal Keith, Stelen Keith Covel, and Shelley Covel Rowland.

 

 

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