Country Music Icon Toby Keith Dies At Age 62 After Battle With Cancer

February 6, 2024
2 mins read

Country music singer-songwriter Toby Keith, known for his hit songs such as “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” “Who’s Your Daddy?,” and “Made in America,” has died. He was 62.

According to Keith’s official website, he “passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family.” The statement goes on to say, “He fought his fight with grace and courage.”

Keith had been battling stomach cancer since 2022 and was open about his condition with fans. “It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that, but as long as everything stays hunky-dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future,” he told CMT Hot 20 Countdown in December 2022.

He also told E! News last September, “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.”

Born on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Oklahoma, Keith released his first studio album, the self-titled Toby Keith, in 1993, followed by 1994’s Boomtown, 1996’s Blue Moon, and 1997’s Dream Walkin’, plus a Greatest Hits package, all of which earned Gold or higher certification.

He was signed to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 1998 and, in 1999, released the breakthrough single “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” which was the number-one country song of 2000.

Overall, Keith released 19 studio albums, two Christmas albums, and five compilation albums, amassing over 40 million albums sold worldwide. He had 20 number-one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, with his longest-lasting being “Beer For My Horses” in 2003 and “As Good as I Once Was” in 2005, both of which stood for six weeks at number one.

In addition to his music career, Keith also made several television appearances, notably starring in commercials for Telecom USA for its discount long-distance telephone service 10-10-220. He also featured in Ford commercials, where he performed original songs such as “Ford Truck Man,” and “Look Again.”

He also popped up on various TV shows, including the Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy in 2009 and several episodes of Comedy Central‘s The Colbert Report. He also appeared on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (then NWA-TNA), where he entered a wrestling match and squared up with wrestling legend Jeff Jarrett.

In terms of acting, Keith starred in the 2006 music-drama film Broken Bridges, in which he played Bo Price, a washed-up country musician. He also wrote and starred in the 2008 movie Beer For My Horses, based on his 2003 hit song of the same name.

Keith was also infamous for his feud with The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks), resulting from backlash to his song “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” which was written in 2001 and inspired by the September 11th attacks and Keith’s father’s passing.

The Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines blasted the song as “ignorant” and “chauvinistic.” Keith would later hit back by displaying a backdrop at his concerts of a photoshopped picture of Maines with Saddam Hussein. In response, Maines wore a T-shirt to the 2003 Academy of Country Music Awards that read “FUTK,” which she later admitted stood for “F*** You Toby Keith.”

Keith was also known for his political statements and played at events for several U.S. presidents over the years, including George W BushBarack Obama, and Donald Trump. In 2021, Keith was awarded a National Medal of the Arts by then-president Trump.

He is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and three children.

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