Toby Keith has revealed he has stomach cancer. The country icon, 60, shared the news via an Instagram post on Sunday, June 12, where he confirmed he was diagnosed last fall and has been receiving treatment for the last six months. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” he wrote in the message, also shared to Twitter.
He assured fans, however, that he would return to the stage once he was feeling better. “I am looking forward to spending time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait. -T,” he signed off to his 795,000 followers.
His next show is coming up soon: the “Big Ol’ Truck” singer is scheduled to perform at Illinois’ 2022 RibFest on Friday, June 17. The Wheaton appearance is not his first since the quiet diagnosis: he also played at the 2022 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in Feb. 2022, several months into treatment and his diagnosis.
Toby last released the album Peso In My Pocket in 2021, following a break during the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year, the 60-year-old received the National Medal Of Arts — described as the “the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government” — by former President Donald Trump. The award is more than deserved given his accomplishments in music that include 32 number one singles, including 2002’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” following 9/11. He has also performed 11 USO tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The singer received an outpouring of love and support in his Instagram comments after his announcement, including from fellow country star Lance Carpenter. “Prayers up for ya Big Dog!” Lance wrote, while former quarterback Troy Aikman added a simple prayer emoji. “Praying for and thinking of you brother,” singer Scott Stevens also wrote.