Country Music Star Toby Keith Dies of Cancer at 62

By   |  February 7, 2024

By Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

TUESDAY, Feb. 6, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Country singer Toby Keith, best known for chart-topping hits like "Who’s Your Daddy?” and “Made in America," has died at 62 from stomach cancer.

His death was announced on his website. Keith's publicist, Elaine Schock, told the New York Times that the National Medal of Arts recipient died in Oklahoma, where he lived his entire life.

Keith first announced his diagnosis with stomach cancer in the summer of 2022, noting at the time that he was being treated with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

“Cancer is a roller coaster. You just sit here and wait on it to go away -- it may not ever go away," Keith told Oklahoma City television station KWTV, the Times reported. He said his Christian faith helped get him through cancer treatments.

According to the American Cancer Society, close to 27,000 cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed among Americans each year and it causes almost 11,000 deaths annually. Men are more prone to the disease than women.

Keith was born Toby Keith Covel in 1961 in Clinton, Okla., to working class parents. He worked in the Oklahoma oil fields in his youth, all the while crafting his talent as a musician and songwriter in bands.

Keith didn't sign his first record deal until he was well into his 30s, the Times noted. His big break came in 1993, when “Should Have Been a Cowboy,” became Keith's first No. 1 country single.

Over the following decades, Keith amassed 60 singles on the country charts, including 20 number one hits. He sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and in 2015 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Keith is survived by his mother; his wife Tricia (Lucus) Keith; two daughters, Shelley Covel and Krystal Sandubrae; a son, Stelen; a sister, Tonnie; a brother, Tracy; and four grandchildren.

More information

There's more on stomach cancer at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: American Cancer Society, New York Times