Toby Keith, legendary country singer, dead at 62 after stomach cancer fight

Country singer Toby Keith died Monday at the age of 62, his family wrote in a statement posted to his website and social media accounts early Tuesday.

"Toby Keith passed away peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family," the statement read.

"He fought his fight with grace and courage," it continued. "Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."

REACTIONS: Toby Keith remembered by celebrities, fans in heartfelt tributes: ‘Filled with deep sadness’ 

Keith revealed in June 2022 that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

"Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I've spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery," he said in a June 2022 post on X (formerly Twitter). 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. -T."

The Oklahoma-based country music star was best known for his 1993 hit song, "Should've Been a Cowboy." His breakout hit was played 3 million times on radio stations and became the most played country song of the 1990s.

One of his most recent appearances was at the inaugural "People's Choice Country Music" awards in September 2023, where he was honored with the Country Icon award.


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 28: 2023 PEOPLE'S CHOICE COUNTRY AWARDS -- Pictured: Honoree Toby Keith accepts the Country Icon award on stage during the 2023 People's Choice Country Awards held at the Grand Ole Opry House on September 28, 2023 in

Toby Keith's top country songs

He was recognized for several of his hit songs, including "Should’ve Been a Cowboy," "I Love This Bar," "As Good As I Once Was," "How Do You Like Me Now?!," "Who’s Your Daddy?," "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," "Beer for My Horses" and "American Soldier," the website said.

Other songs he's known for include "Red Solo Cup" and "I wanna talk about me."

His 2002 song, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," showcased his patriotism following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Keith, however, didn't just use the idea of American patriotism in his songs. He gave his support to the American military, going on 11 USO tours to visit and play for troops serving overseas. He'd write about his support for the men and women in America's military with his 2003 hit, "American Soldier."

He also helped to raise millions for charity over his career, including building a home in Oklahoma City for kids and their families who are battling cancer.

Keith also played at events for Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the latter giving him a National Medal of the Arts in 2021. 

Throughout his career, Keith was recognized for his vocals, songwriting and live performances.

In 2001, Keith won the male vocalist of the year and album of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. He would go on to win entertainer of the year in 2003 and 2004, also winning top male vocalist and album of the year for "Shock ’n Y’all" the latter year.

He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Keith is survived by his wife, Tricia, three children and four grandchildren. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.