Toby Keith Reflects on "Debilitating" Battle With Stomach Cancer

Country singer Toby Keith, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in fall 2021, recently expressed his hope to return to touring in the future.

By Elyse Dupre Dec 02, 2022 1:35 PMTags

Raise a red Solo cup to Toby Keith.

The country music singer, 61, recently shared his hope to one day return to touring following his battle with stomach cancer

"Yeah, I'm thinking of getting back to fighting shape," he said during a November episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown. "I need a little bit of time to just rest up and heal up. It's pretty debilitating to have to go through all that. But as long as everything stays hunky dory, then we'll look at something good in the future." 

Fans learned of Keith's cancer journey over the summer. "Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer," he tweeted on June 12. "I've spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax."

While the "Should've Been a Cowboy" artist noted he was "looking forward to spending this time" with his family, he also expressed his excitement to eventually get back to the stage.

"But I will see the fans sooner than later," he added. "I can't wait."

Celeb Cancer Survivors

And he appreciated their well-wishes. "Thank you for all your love and support," the seven-time Grammy nominee wrote in a June 14 tweet. "I have the best fans in the world."

Erika Goldring/WireImage

Followers have already seen Keith step back into the spotlight. In November, he gave an impromptu performance at Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse in Lexington, Kentucky. 

"It was really nice to see if you had any power and vocals left," he said during his CMT interview with Cody Alan, "and we did all right."

That same month, Keith received the Icon honor at the 2022 BMI Country Awards. "The songwriting stuff was always the most important to me," he shared. "When I got here, they go, 'Are you a songwriter?' And I go, 'I think I am.' And I just hoped the artist and the other part would carry it or somebody would cut these songs. But it all worked out in the end, the best it could've."

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