Toby Keith Is Still Undergoing Treatment But Promises Not To Let Cancer Define His Future

The country icon is leaning on his faith amid his cancer battle.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 25, 2024

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Toby Keith; Photo Courtesy New 9

Since his diagnosis of stomach cancer in October of 2021, Toby Keith has undergone multiple rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Despite still being in the thick of this battle with ongoing treatments, he shares how he’s managed to keep a positive outlook on life. 

The Superstar Held Nothing Back In A New Interview

The country icon recently sat down with News 9’s Robin Marsh and had an open conversation surrounding his “rollercoaster” of a journey with cancer and gave an update on where he’s at now. 

When asked if he was doing okay, Keith said, “I am…I am not going to let this define what my future is,” he said with confidence knowing that “It ain’t up to us.”

Toby Keith; Photo Courtesy New 9
Toby Keith; Photo Courtesy New 9

Even though his spirits appear to be relatively high at the moment, he also shared that he has found himself walking down plenty of “dark hallways” while reflecting on what feels like a never-ending cycle of waiting and hoping.

A “Rollercoaster”

“Cancer’s a rollercoaster, so it’s like you just sit here and wait on it to go away. It may not ever go away, and if it goes in remission, it will still be in the back of your mind. You’re still going to have to do scans and stuff.”

The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer went on to say that the key to navigating through those dark hallways has been his growing relationship with his faith. This is a part of his life that seems to have only gotten stronger during this challenging chapter. 

Leaning On His Faith

“You have to have your faith. Thank God that I got it,” he shared. “You take it for granted on days that things are good and you lean on it when days are bad and it’s taught me to lean on a little more every day.”

Faith has allowed him to find acceptance and peace in whatever his future holds. 

He continued, “I was diagnosed in October of 21 and I was going through all the chemo and the first time I’d been through chemo and radiation surgery and I just got to a point 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.”

In addition to his faith, Keith is surrounded by support from his Tricia of almost 40 years, their children and grandchildren as well as the community he’s built within the music industry.

Toby Keith, Tricia Lucus arrive to the 2023 People's Choice Country Awards held at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 28, 2023; Photo by Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC
Toby Keith, Tricia Lucus arrive to the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards held at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 28, 2023; Photo by Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC

Toby Keith first shared his diagnosis with fans back in June of 2022 when he was forced to cancel his concerts at the time in order to focus on his health. Since then, he has spent more time away from touring than ever before in his career.

He made a rare return to the stage during the Inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards in September. For his first major awards show performance since 2017, he sang an unforgettable deliver of his song, “Don’t Let The Old Man In.”

Triumphant Return In Las Vegas

Following that, he made his way to Las Vegas in mid-December for a sold-out, three-night residency at Dolby Live at Park MGM.

Toby Keith; Photo by Greg Watermann
Toby Keith; Photo by Greg Watermann

According to social media posts at the time, the Oklahoma native delivered a show packed full of hits and stories from his career that has spanned over three decades. He performed for two hours and even included a surprise segment of songs in the show that offered fans a look into a collection of songs that he feels “should’ve been singles.” 

The shows sold out in minutes and became one of the fast-selling tickets in the venue’s history. 

This marks yet another feat added to Toby Keith’s impressive resume. The award-winning singer/songwriter has racked up 42 top-ten hits, 32 number-one songs, 40 million albums sold, more than ten billion streams, and is among the world’s top 5 richest country singers. 

Toby Keith has yet to share plans for any future performances, however, it seems that he is hopeful for what’s to come. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.