Toby Keith reveals stomach cancer diagnosis: ‘I need time to breathe’

A man in a cowboy hat with a guitar holding a red solo cup while singing into a microphone
Toby Keith performs at the 2021 iHeartCountry Festival in Austin, Texas.
(Jack Plunkett / Invision / AP)
Share via

Country musician Toby Keith revealed Sunday on social media that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer last fall.

“I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery,” the “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” hitmaker said in a statement.

“So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax. I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”


Keith’s announcement comes several months after he released his 19th studio album, “Peso in My Pocket.” The 60-year-old singer is scheduled to play a number of shows this summer in the United States, including a July 15 concert in Salinas, Calif.

He’s also slated to perform at the Coachella Crossroads in Coachella, Calif., on Nov. 12. The Grammy-nominated artist‘s statement did not clarify whether he will be postponing any performances while he recovers.

While he’s being impeached, President Trump gives the National Medal of Arts to Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs. What is this award, and who typically gets it?

Jan. 14, 2021

On Instagram, fans and friends of Keith wished the vocalist well in the wake of his health update. Among those who commented words and emojis of support were golfer Taylor Cusack, former football quarterback Troy Aikman and soccer player Chris Frederick, as well as musicians Scott Stevens and Lance Carpenter.

“Prayers up for ya Big Dog!” Carpenter wrote.

“Praying for and thinking of you brother,” Stevens wrote.