Country music star Toby Keith dies at 62

In Summary
  • In 2022 he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer
Image: Courtesy photo

U.S. country music star Toby Keith died on 5th /February/2023 “Monday night” aged 62.

The sad news was announced through a post shared on his X social media account saying that he passed peacefully surrounded by his family.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5, surrounded by his family," reads the post on Keith's website. "He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."

The singer best known for his 1993 hit "Should've Been a Cowboy" announced in 2022 he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, saying he needed time to breathe, recover and relax.

Keith said he had been receiving chemotherapy, radiation and surgery for his cancer  noting  that he was comfortable with whatever happened with his illness.

Over the years, he played at events for several US presidents, including George W Bush. Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Mr Trump awarded Keith a National Medal of the Arts in 2021.

A major country star for three decades, Keith enjoyed hits such as "Red Solo Cup," "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and "Beer For My Horses," a duet with Willie Nelson.

His songs frequently made reference to patriotic themes, most controversially with the song Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American), released shortly after the 9/11 attacks, which was criticised for what some perceived as chauvinistic lyrics.

The song was criticised by fellow country artists the Dixie Chicks. The feud lasted several months before Keith announced there were "far more important things" to focus on.

Born in Clinton, Oklahoma, in 1961, Keith worked in the booming oil fields of his home state as a young man, which he said taught him the value of money.