2 Years Ago: Toby Keith Reveals He Has Stomach Cancer

Two years ago was a heartbreaking day for the country music community. It was on June 12, 2022 when Toby Keith revealed he was battling stomach cancer, which he had been diagnosed with several months before going public with the news.

“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” Keith posted. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax. I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”

Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So…

Posted by Toby Keith on Sunday, June 12, 2022


The “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” singer went through various treatments to try to beat the cancer, utilizing both chemotherapy and holistic treatments.

“I feel pretty good. It’s a rollercoaster all the time with this stuff,” he said last fall on the Sellout Crowd podcast. “I have the resources financially and otherwise to get the best treatments I can get. They’re taking great care of me and I’m getting all the latest stuff you can get. In fact, I’m going tomorrow to Florida to see another guy down there, that’s got some other kind of treatments, and I’m trying them all. I’m throwing the kitchen sink at it.”

Keith was 62 years old when he passed away on February 5.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family,” Keith’s family wrote on social media. “He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of the family at this time.”

Only a couple months before Keith passed away, the Oklahoma native performed a series of sold-out shows in Las Vegas, hinting that the concerts were a precursor to a major tour he had planned in 2024.

“It’s on the board,” Keith told Taste of Country Nights, On Demand in November. “They have got a great plan together, and we’ve built a new set, and we’re getting the trucks and buses fired up. Our plan is to go forward, don’t let this stuff define our future — let’s go.”

On the day Keith’s death was announced, it was also determined that he was one of three people who would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year, along with John Anderson, and guitarist James Burton.

“This year, we anticipated receiving the names of our final inductees, on Tuesday, February 6,”  Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association, revealed. “As we know, we woke up that morning to the heartbreaking news that our friend, Toby Keith, had lost his long battle with stomach cancer. What’s bittersweet is that just a few hours later, our team received word that he had been elected into the Modern Era category. Truly one of the greatest honors of my job is getting to inform these inductees that they are the newest members of the hallowed class.

“My heart sank that Tuesday afternoon, knowing that we missed the chance to inform Toby while he was still with us,” she added. “But I have no doubt that he’s smiling down on us, knowing that he’ll always be as good as he once was.”

A private memorial for Keith was held in February.