The Tragedy Of Toby Keith's Real-Life Story - Grunge

On June 12, 2022, Toby Keith posted a very personal message on X (formerly known as Twitter): He revealed that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and had been going through treatment for the previous six months. “So far, so good,” he wrote. “I need time to breathe, recover and relax.” Stomach cancer is relatively rare, and the American Cancer Society says that only about 1.5% of new cases of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. annually are stomach (or gastric) cancer.

Keith remained candid but optimistic, and in September of 2023, he spoke with E! News about the announcement that he was the People’s Choice Country Awards recipient of the Country Icon Award. His cancer was responding to treatment, and he said, “I feel pretty good. It’s a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you’re up and down, up and down. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero, but I feel good today.”

Then, in early 2024, he appeared on the Bobby Bones Show to talk a little about everything — including his diagnosis, treatment, and the long-lasting impacts he experienced. Keith revealed that between Covid and cancer, he went about three years without performing and said that, yes, it was difficult. He had undergone stomach surgery that also impacted his diaphragm and, by extension, his ability to sing. Still, he remained hopeful.