Michael Ray Tributes Cancer-Stricken Toby Keith With a Performance Of One of His Biggest Hits

Michael Ray paid tribute to Toby Keith during his performance at Country Fest in Wisconsin on Saturday, June 25. The…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 1, 2022


2:58 pm

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Michael Ray; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA

Michael Ray paid tribute to Toby Keith during his performance at Country Fest in Wisconsin on Saturday, June 25.

The chart-topping country hitmaker honored Keith with a special performance of “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” the lead single from Keith’s self-titled debut album. The performance prompted a massive sing-along with fans in attendance.

The “Holy Water” singer later took to social media to share the special moment he shared with nearly 5,000 fans at the country music festival. 

“Sending some love to my buddy @tobykeith. Show this cancer who its daddy is bud. We miss ya out here,” Ray captioned the clip.

In the video, Ray is seen singing the Toby Keith hit as the crowd roars the lyrics back to him. 

“Just me and about 5,000 country music fans at Country Fest breaking it down and sending it down and sending all the love to my buddy Toby Keith. Get better cowboy, We miss ya out here. Cheers!”

The performance comes weeks after Keith revealed that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. 

“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” Keith shared at the time. 

He added, “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.” 

Earlier this year, Michael Ray earned his fourth No. 1 with “Whiskey And Rain,” which recently went platinum.

“So proud to be able to say that #whiskeyandrain is officially a PLATINUM record!! 🤯” Ray wrote alongside a photo with his team. ”I couldn’t do this without all of y’all or the team I have behind me. When I first heard this song, I connected with the idea of letting yourself really live in a moment where it can wash over you. I’m so grateful that it’s found a home in your hearts too. Here’s to another million!!! 🥃🌧”

Meanwhile, Toby Keith released his 19th studio album, Peso In My Pocket, in 2021. The project includes the fan-favorite track, “Old School,” as well as his brand-new radio single, “Oklahoma Breakdown.”

Co-produced by Keith and Kenny Greenberg, the 10-track album includes songs co-written with Sammy Hagar, former frontman of Van Halen, as well as cuts from the Warren Brothers, Ryan Hurd, Maren Morris, Jessie Jo Dillon and more.

Toby Keith has canceled all upcoming tour dates and recently warned fans of social media imposters who are spreading false information about his health online.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.