Country music legend Toby Keith has passed away.

Keith, 62, was battling stomach cancer.

He announced his cancer diagnosis in 2022.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time,” a statement on his website read.

Tributes came pouring in on social media:


The Associated Press reports:

The 6-foot-4 singer broke out in the country boom years of the 1990s, writing songs that fans loved to hear. Over his career he publicly clashed with other celebrities and journalists and often pushed back against record executives who wanted to smooth his rough edges.

He was known for his overt patriotism on post 9/11 songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and boisterous barroom tunes like “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup.” He had a powerful booming voice, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and range that carried love songs as well as drinking songs.

Among his 20 No. 1 Billboard hits were “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “My List” and “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson. His influences were other working class songwriters like Merle Haggard and he tallied more than 60 singles on the Hot Country chart over his career.

Throughout the cancer treatments, Keith continued to perform, most recently playing in Las Vegas in December. He also performed on the People’s Choice Country Awards in 2023 as he sang his song “Don’t Let the Old Man In.”

From People:

The musician was born Toby Keith Covel on July 8, 1961 in Oklahoma and raised on a farm outside of Oklahoma City, according to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Before focusing solely on pursuing music professionally, the lifelong country music fan worked as a rodeo hand in high school and oil fields after he graduated, all the while performing in bars at night.

During that time in which he played with a band called Easy Money, he met his wife of nearly 40 years, Tricia Lucas, and they were married in 1984 after three years of dating. After they were wed, Keith adopted Lucas’ daughter who was born in 1980, Shelley Covel Rowland, and the two welcomed two more children, daughter Krystal in 1985 and son Stelen in 1997.

Following a period in which the star played minor league football and performed in the honkey tonk circuit, he secured a solo record deal in the early ‘90s and found breakthrough success with his No. 1 hit 1993 single “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” per Oklahoma Hall of Fame. The song became the most-played song on country radio of the decade, and his self-titled debut album was certified platinum.

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