Toby Keith is back on top of the charts. The 62-year-old landed in the No. 1 spot on both the iTunes Country Songs and Videos charts and the Top 3 in the All-Genre chart with his live performance of his 2018 single, “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” at the recent People’s Choice Country Awards. During the ceremony, he also received the People’s Country Icon Award, presented to him by Blake Shelton.
Keith’s emotional performance of the song, after taking an 18-month hiatus while he battles stomach cancer, earned him a thunderous standing ovation.
The Oklahoma native gave an update on his health, while he continues to recover, and hopes to tour in the near future.
“I walked some dark hallways,” Keith told Extra. “Almighty’s riding shotgun. But I feel pretty good. You have good days and bad days, but it’s a little bit of a roller coaster. But I’m doing a lot better than I was this time last year.”
Keith credits his faith most of all with helping get him through the scary diagnosis and grueling treatment.
“I lean on my faith and I just pray and lean into it,” Keith told Fox News. “You gotta do what you gotta do, and I don’t know how people do it without faith … that’s what I did. It was my rock.”
Earlier this year, Keith hinted at plans to start performing again, hopefully still in 2023.
“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.”
The singer-songwriter reportedly underwent chemotherapy and immunotherapy, and worked with a nutritionist, all to help him regain his strength and be able to return to performing.
“They put oxygen in your blood. They give you high doses of vitamin C and good vitamins and nutrient bag you up to where you feel better. And you can start trying to heal your body,” Keith explained at the time.
“Now, they’re trying to fight where the cancer backs up and says, ‘Oh, you’re fighting that tumor?’” he added. “‘We’re gonna remorph and turn into this kind of cancer.’ … So, while they (the cancer cells) are in the bullpen regrouping, we’re trying to kill ’em with something different.”
Keith’s 13-track 100% Songwriter album will be out in November, featuring some of his biggest hits throughout his three-decade career, all songs written entirely by Keith. Find all of Keith’s music and touring updates at TobyKeith.com