Toby Keith’s Wife Tricia Cries In The Audience While He Sings “Don’t Let The Old Man In” At The People’s Choice Country Awards
Toby Keith was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2021. He didn’t go public with the news until several months later.
Sadly, Toby passed away on Monday, February 5 at the age of 62. His family shared a statement praising the courage he maintained throughout his battle with cancer.
— Toby Keith (@tobykeith) February 6, 2024
When he did share the news of his diagnosis, Toby took some time off to focus on his treatments and his family. He married his wife, Tricia, in 1984, and they share three children.
Toby gradually returned to performing in 2023. He delivered his first televised performance since his cancer diagnosis during the People’s Choice Country Awards on September 28, 2023.
Tricia attended the event with him, and they walked the red carpet together.
Toby Keith Was Honored As A “Country Icon”
Toby received the Country Icon award at the People’s Choice Country Awards. Blake Shelton honored him with a performance of “Who’s Your Daddy?” before presenting the trophy.
Upon accepting it, Toby said:
“I want to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight, he’s been riding shotgun with me for a little while now.”
Toby also thanked his family for their support. “I want to thank my beautiful family that’s here,” he said.
But his performance was even more powerful than his speech.
Toby Keith Sings “Don’t Let The Old Man In” And Moves Everyone – Including His Wife – To Tears
Toby took the opportunity to perform his song “Don’t Let the Old Man In.” He wrote it after being inspired by a conversation he had with Clint Eastwood. Eastwood loved Toby’s demo, and chose to feature the song in his 2018 film The Mule.
The song includes lyrics such as, “Many moons I have lived. My body’s weathered and worn.”
Considering everything Toby’s own body went through in the years prior, the song took on a different meaning seeing him sing it at the People’s Choice Country Awards. The emotions of the moment got to Tricia, who cried throughout the song.
The performance touched everyone who watched it. After the ceremony, “Don’t Let the Old Man In” jumped to the #1 spot on the iTunes country chart.
You can watch Toby’s People’s Choice Country Awards performance below. This is one moment country fans will remember for decades to come.