Toby Keith has been battling stomach cancer since 2021.
In June of 2022, country music legend Toby Keith revealed the unsettling news that he had been battling stomach cancer since the fall of 2021. He initially kept his diagnosis private but after six months of treatment, felt comfortable sharing the update with fans saying that he will see them “sooner than later.”
In the months that have followed, Keith has been fairly transparent about his cancer journey and recovery, admitting the fear that he felt when he received the diagnosis, and sharing that he felt very weak during his iconic PCCAs performance.
Toby Keith says he is “feeling good.”
In a recent conversation with Taste of Country, Toby Keith was asked how he is feeling now:
“I feel great today. It takes a while. You have to be the captain of your own ship, and doctors and the medical world are just like any other profession. You got a lot of people on these teams, and you just have to dig in and get everybody in the right place — get the right people and pray for the right results.”
Keith says that he has gotten to a place where he is “comfortable with it,” adding:
“Everything’s trending really well right now, and I’m not gonna let this define the rest of my life. If I live to be 100 or I don’t, I’m going to go forward. I’m feeling good and I’m off of chemo and I’m rolling. We’re just going business as usual, going forward.”
“Don’t Let The Old Man In” has become the soundtrack to Toby Keith’s fight.
Toby Keith’s single “Don’t Let The Old Man In” was written for Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film, The Mule. The lyrics share the wisdom of a seasoned individual who warns against allowing age to limit your life. Keith was inspired to write the song after a conversation between the pair over golf in 2017. Keith was amazed at how Eastwood, then 88 years old, still had so much energy and drive.
The song sparked the attention of country music fans worldwide after Toby Keith’s emotional performance at the People’s Choice Country Awards in September. The message of the song coupled with Keith’s visible change in appearance and demeanor, painted a poignant picture of his battle with cancer and the courage he has exhibited while he continues to fight.
When asked about the public response to the performance, Keith expressed:
“Word hit the street and everybody knowing what I was battling, and then showing up at this deal and singing that song … it just spotlighted the moment and the song so much. When I hit the stage, everybody was wanting to see what’s left. What’s he got left?”
The beloved country singer recently shared the good news that he is no longer undergoing chemo and even announced a series of comeback concerts in Las Vegas. These updates prove that Toby Keith is indeed not letting the old man in.
Watch Toby Keith perform “Don’t Let The Old Man In” at the PCCAs below!