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Country music star gives update on cancer battle

Toby Keith sings at a surprise concert at Forward Operating Base Sharana in Afghanistan, on April 29, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Crail)
October 01, 2023

Country music legend Toby Keith recently discussed his battle with stomach cancer while receiving the inaugural Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Country Awards.

At the age of 62, Keith was honored as the first recipient of the Country Icon Award during Thursday’s People’s Choice Country Awards.

In an exclusive interview with E! News right before the ceremony, Keith said, “I feel pretty good.” However, the country music legend admitted his journey has been “a little bit of a roller coaster.”

“You get good days and, you know, you’re up and down, up and gown. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today,” Keith added.

According to The Daily Wire, the iconic singer first revealed his stomach cancer diagnosis in the fall of 2021.

Thursday’s award show recognized the incredible musical milestones achieved by Keith. The country music singer acknowledged that it was “nice to recognize my 30-year career.”

“It’s pretty mind-boggling,” he said. “Those years of pounding those songs out there and remembering where you were when each one was conceived and all that, it’s amazing.”

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Elaborating on his cancer battle in an interview with Fox News, Keith emphasized the instrumental role his faith has played. “I lean on my faith and I just pray and lean into it,” he said. “You gotta’ do what you gotta’ do, and I don’t know how people do it without faith … that’s what I did, it was my rock.”

The iconic country artist has been diligent about keeping his loyal fan base informed about his health. An encouraging tweet from June 2022 stated, “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.”

According to, Keith indicated in June of 2023 that his tumor had shrunk to about a third of its original size due to aggressive treatments.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.