Country music superstar Toby Keith disclosed over the weekend that he’s been fighting stomach cancer since late last year and has been receiving various treatments.
In a statement on Twitter, the Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter shared with fans that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer last fall.
“I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery,” he said in a June 12 statement. “So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”
The multi-platinum-selling singer added that he is “looking forward to spending time with [his] family,” adding that he “will see the fans sooner than later.”
“I can’t wait,” said the 60-year-old singer, who turns 61 on July 8.
Following his health update, the Ohio State Fair announced that Keith’s scheduled performance on July 28 would be canceled.
Our hearts go out to Toby Keith as he courageously battles cancer. Tickets purchased from Ticketmaster for his #ohiostatefair show on July 28, which has been cancelled, will be automatically refunded. Any information about an alternate concert on July 28 is forthcoming. https://t.co/Qi7rl0UagL
— Ohio State Fair (@OhioStateFair) June 12, 2022
“Our hearts go out to Toby Keith as he courageously battles cancer,” the fair said, adding tickets purchased from Ticketmaster will be automatically refunded. It’s unclear if any additional shows on his tour will be rescheduled or postponed.
According to his official website, the legendary singer is currently on tour and his next performance is scheduled for June 17 in Wheaton, Illinois.
There have been no official announcements regarding possible amendments to Keith’s tour schedule. He has been performing throughout his diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process.
Keith’s publicist, Elaine Schock, said in an email on June 12 that some tour dates would be canceled, The Associated Press reported.
“I’m not sure how many at this point,” his publicist revealed, adding that Keith has remained in the spotlight during the past six months and will continue to do so “for now.”
With over 85 million BMI broadcast performances, 32 No. 1 hit singles, and over 40 million albums sold, Keith was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in November 2021.
As a strong and longtime advocate for people facing a cancer diagnosis, Keith started the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006, which provides support to children with cancer, according to the foundation’s website.
In 2014, the foundation opened OK Kids Korral, “a cost-free, convenient and comfortable home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment” at a number of facilities, the website states.
“There is no greater gift than keeping families strong and together during a difficult time,” a statement on the website reads. “If we can alleviate stress on a family, encourage a brother or sister and comfort a sick child, then we will make a difference in the fight against cancer.”
Additionally, Keith performed hundreds of shows for U.S. service members abroad, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also performed at events for Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush.
In 2021, President Donald Trump awarded him the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to the American music industry. According to the White House, the medal is the “highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.”
Keith and his wife of 38 years, Tricia Lucus, share three children and four grandchildren.