Toby Keith: Country music legend passes away after health struggles

Norman, Oklahoma - Country music star Toby Keith has passed away at the age of 62, a statement on his website said Tuesday morning.

Country music legend Toby Keith passed away at 62 after a painful battle with stomach cancer.
Country music legend Toby Keith passed away at 62 after a painful battle with stomach cancer.  © REUTERS

The multi-talented singer, producer, and actor died "peacefully" on Monday, just over two years after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

He was "surrounded by his family," the statement said, adding: "He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."

Keith, who scored 11 Platinum albums across his multi-decade career, announced his cancer diagnosis in June 2022 and later described his struggles with the disease as "pretty debilitating."

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The Oklahoma native had 20 number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including his 1993 debut single, Should've Been a Cowboy, which was named the most played country song of the 1990s.

He also acted in ads, shows, and movies, while co-founding the independent record label Show Dog Nashville, which merged with Universal Music in 2009.

Keith variously described himself as a "conservative Democrat" and an independent throughout the years, but ended up playing Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017. The then-president awarded him the National Medal of the Arts a week before being succeeded in office by Joe Biden.

Toby Keith leaves behind wife Tricia Lucus, whom he married in 1984, three children, and four grandchildren.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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