2023 People’s Choice Country Awards: Toby Keith Receives the Country Icon Award

Toby Keith was all smiles as he received the People’s Country Icon Award at the 2023  People’s Choice Country Awards.  It was Blake Shelton, who opened for Keith when Shelton was just getting his own career started, who presented Keith with the trophy.

“I bet you never thought you’d see me in skinny jeans,” Keith quipped from stage, referring to his leaner figure after battling stomach cancer. “I wanna thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight. He’s been riding shotgun with me for a little while. I want to thank my beautiful family that’s here. A lot of people go into making a big career like this, of 30 years.

“My manager, T.K. Kimbrell and Curt Motley. Brian O’Connell, Elaine Shock,” he continued. “The band and the crew, and everybody’s that behind this thing. All the great musicians that have played on all these albums in the studios. They’ve poured their heart and soul into what I do. And most of all, I want to thank the fans for allowing us to still do what we do. God bless y’all, and have a wonderful evening.”

Keith, who also performed “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” gave an update ahead of the ceremony on his ongoing health struggles.

“I feel pretty good,” Keith told E! News. “It’s a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you’re up and down, up and down. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today.”

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma native opened up about his recovery, one year after he announced his cancer diagnosis.

“I feel better; I’ve got more wind,” Keith told The Oklahoman (via Music Mayhem). “And I’m thinking about bringing the band in and setting up, playing two or three days somewhere just to see if I can get through two hours. And if I do, (I’ll) be out on the road this fall.”

Keith just announced his 100% Songwriter album will be out in November. The 13-track record features some of his biggest hits throughout his three-decades career, all songs written entirely by Keith.

Find all of Keith’s music and touring updates at TobyKeith.com