Country Icon Toby Keith Passes Away
2024/02/07

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Renowned country singer Toby Keith has sadly passed away after a courageous battle with stomach cancer. He was diagnosed in 2022 and peacefully passed away on February 5, surrounded by his loved ones, as confirmed in a social media post. Throughout his multi-decade career, Keith achieved an impressive twenty #1 Billboard country hits and 42 top ten hits, including popular songs such as "How Do You Like Me Now?!", "Should've Been A Cowboy," "As Good As I Once Was," "My List," and the duet with Willie Nelson, "Beer for My Horses."

In a heartfelt Instagram statement posted in 2022, Keith shared, "Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation, and surgery." During an interview with News 9, he opened up about his experience with cancer, stating, "Cancer is a rollercoaster. You just sit here waiting for it to go away, it may never go away. Thank God that I’ve got it. Because you take it for granted on days things are good, and you lean on it when things are bad. It’s taught me to lean on it a little more every day. I was diagnosed in October 21, and I was going through all the chemo. I got to the point in the spring, where I was comfortable with whatever happened. I had my brain wrapped around it and I was in a good spot either way. People without faith don’t have that."

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Keith's iconic status in the country music industry was acknowledged with the Icon Award at the People’s Choice Country Awards in September. He delivered a memorable performance of "Don’t Let The Old Man In," which would go on to be one of his final performances.

Having burst onto the country music scene in 1993 with his self-titled debut album, Keith quickly gained recognition with his debut single "Should’ve Been A Cowboy," which became the most-played country song of the 1990s. This success solidified his position as one of the most exciting artists in the genre at that time. His streak of hits continued across his 19 studio albums, 2 Christmas albums, and 5 compilation albums, amassing over 40 million sales worldwide.

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Beyond his music, Keith also ventured into the business world, owning several restaurants, bars, a clothing line, and even a drink called "Wild Shot." His career and business ventures contributed to his immense wealth, with Forbes Magazine dubbing him the " $500 million man" in 2013, making him one of the wealthiest figures in country music.

In 2014, Keith embarked on his first tour of Australia, performing at CMC Rocks in the Hunter and headlining various shows across the country, further expanding his global reach.

Keith is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and their children Shelley, Krystel, and Stelen. In 2006, Toby and Tricia founded the Toby Keith Foundation, which aimed to support children and families dealing with cancer. This charitable legacy will forever be intertwined with his musical legacy, cementing his status as one of the most revered figures in country music.

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