- Toby Keith performed three sold-out concerts in Las Vegas in December, just two months before his death.
- Keith had announced he had stomach cancer in June 2022 and was diagnosed in 2021.
- He also performed at the People’s Choice Country Awards in September and accepted the Country Icon award.
Despite his battle with cancer, country superstar Toby Keith continued to perform until just two months ago. He gave three sold-out concerts in Las Vegas in December, which were announced as his “triumphant return to the stage.” These shows would ultimately be his last.
Demand for the crooner’s comeback, more than a year after he announced he had stomach cancer in June 2022 (he was diagnosed in 2021), was sky-high. Tickets were gone in minutes, and it became one of the fastest-selling events in the history of the Dolby Live at Park MGM, according to Keith’s website.
During the concerts, the singer performed his single “Don’t Let the Old Man In” from Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film “The Mule,” alongside older hits such as “Beer for My Horses” and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”
Two weeks after the concerts on Dec. 10, 11, and 14, Keith wrote on Instagram that they were “a damn good way to end the year.”
While the Vegas stint marked Keith’s comeback for ticket-buying audiences, in September, he also performed during the People’s Choice Country Awards. He spoke candidly about his health at the time, telling 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.”
During the awards show, Keith also accepted the Country Icon award. He joked about his cancer-related weight loss, saying, “I bet you never thought y’all’d see me in skinny jeans. I want to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight, he’s been riding shotgun with me for a little while now.”
On Tuesday, Keith’s family said in a statement posted to his social media accounts, “Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on Feb. 5 surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage.”
One day before his death, footage of Keith onstage was shared on his Instagram page with the caption, “And that’s a wrap on the weekend, y’all. Back to it.”
Keith is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and their three children, Shelley, Krystal, and Stelen. He also leaves behind four grandchildren.
Clear Thoughts (op-ed)
Toby Keith’s passing is a somber reminder that life is fragile and unpredictable. Despite his diagnosis, Keith chose to continue performing for his fans, showcasing his unwavering dedication to his craft and audience.
His sold-out Las Vegas concerts in December exemplify the resilience and tenacity that are hallmarks of the American spirit. Keith’s ability to perform and entertain, even as he battled stomach cancer, is a testament to his character and an inspiration to us all.
The outpouring of support and admiration from his fans, as well as his peers in the country music community, is a reflection of Keith’s enduring impact on the industry. His legacy will live on through his music and the countless lives he touched.
In these challenging times, Toby Keith’s story serves as a reminder to persevere, cherish the moments we have, and never take anything for granted.
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