Country music icon Toby Keith has died, his official website and social media accounts announced early Tuesday, 18 months after he revealed he had stomach cancer.
He is 62 years old.
The “Should've Been a Cowboy” singer died Monday night surrounded by his family, according to a short statement. “He fought his battle with grace and courage,” it added.
Keith announced he was living with cancer in June 2022, and in September last year spoke of his “roller coaster” experience with treatment.
“You get good days, you know, you're up and down and up and down. It's always zero to 60 and 60 to zero, but today I feel great,” Keith told E! News to receive a Country Icon Award at the People's Choice Country Awards.
Keith continued to record and perform through his illness, appearing live for three nights in Las Vegas in December. With a visibly thin but fine voice, Keith sang many of his 32 No. 1 hits and 42 Top 10 hits. According to his official website.
“3 sold out shows in Vegas was a great way to end the year,” he wrote on Instagram.
In June 2022, Keith said he was undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. He told The Oklahoman newspaper last year that he had the tumor shrunk by a third.
Born in Clinton, Oklahoma and raised in Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, Keith emerged as a country artist in the early 1990s and became an icon of the genre. He has sold between 25 million and 30 million records in the United States, according to various estimates, and his songs have had over 10 billion digital streaming plays.
His latest album, “100% Songwriter” Released in November.
His first single, “Shoot've Been a Cowboy”, was written in a motel bathroom in Dodge City, Kansas.
Taken from her self-titled debut album, it came out in 1993 and topped the country charts in the US and Canada, becoming one of the most played tunes on radio in the 1990s and beyond.
His other hits include “Beer for My Horses”, a duet with Willie Nelson, “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup”.
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