Toby Keith Shares Cancer Update Two Months After Emotional People’s Choice Country Awards Performance
Toby Keith was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2021. He kept the news private for several months, and eventually went public with his diagnosis in June 2022.
Keith took some time off from performing to focus on his treatments and his family. He made a few appearances over the next year, but did not tour.
Then, in September, Keith was honored with the Country Icon Award during the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards. He also performed during the ceremony, and that performance made a huge impact.
Keith performed “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” which he released in coordination with the Clint Eastwood film The Mule in 2018. The song was not a huge hit at the time.
Still, it seemed like the perfect song for Keith to perform at the People’s Choice Country Awards. Fans were moved to tears watching Keith sing about aging and mortality…especially considering everything he’s been through in the past few years.
Keith’s wife, Tricia Covel, was in attendance, and was crying in the audience during the performance.
Millions of people listened to “Don’t Let the Old Man In” after the People’s Choice Country Awards. It became the most-added song at country radio.
Keith Is Gearing Up For His Return Soon
Now, Keith is gearing up for a series of three comeback concerts in Las Vegas this month. He’s also looking forward to what the future has in store, and seems eager to get back on the road.
Keith recently sat down for an interview with Taste of Country, and opened up about his cancer battle and plans for the future. He told the outlet he “feel[s] great today” and that he “finally got [the cancer] in a spot where [he’s] really comfortable with it.”
Furthermore, Keith said he is finally finished with chemo:
“Everything’s trending really well right now, and I’m not gonna let this define the rest of my life. If I live to be 100 or I don’t, I’m going to go forward. I’m feeling good and I’m off of chemo and I’m rolling. We’re just going business as usual, going forward.”
While Keith was understandably scared when he first got his diagnosis, he said he “ain’t afraid anymore.” He’s already plotting a big return in 2024, saying he’s “getting the trucks and buses fired up.”
Keith has proven he isn’t going to “let the old man in.”