Country music singer Toby Keith has died at age 62.
“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage,” according to a statement on his website. The “Shock’n Y’all” and “Red Solo Cup” singer had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and started treatments in fall 2021.
He had surgery and received chemotherapy and radiation in the course of his cancer battle.
Today, country legends remember Toby. Here’s what they had to say:
“I admire the way Toby battled this awful illness. He released new music, and he was on stage at the end. There is nothing coming along to replace people like him.” – Don McLean
“Toby Keith was as tough as the oilfields of Oklahoma with the soul of a poet. He fought his battle with cancer with the same toughness, grace, and resolve the same way he approached his craft of songwriting. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.” – Dallas Wayne
“The story that will forever define Toby Keith for me is very personal. My son Torre was serving his first tour in Iraq – stationed in a remote area on the outskirts of Samarra in a very volatile area. Toby came to Iraq to entertain our troops. However, after several shows, Toby said he wanted to entertain those men who were isolated. Toby was told of a small group of men in “No Man’s Land” but was strongly advised not to go there. It was too dangerous. Toby insisted. He didn’t want to endanger the lives of other musicians and entertainers, so he went alone. But for a few hours, Toby and his guitar brought a piece of America to a handful of Americans who needed a reminder that they were not forgotten. I will always love Toby Keith for the morale boost he gave my son when he needed it most. I will always remember him as a man of character.” – Tim Atwood
“It’s a sad day for country music. Toby Keith has always been a favorite of mine, from being as young as nine, hearing “Red Solo Cup” every Christmas, to growing up and becoming an even bigger fan of his listening to his cowboy songs. I also truly admired his adoration and appreciation for the military. You will be missed, sir. Raise a glass for us all up there.” – Makenzie Phipps
“As a 90s kid, Toby Keith was a lot of the soundtrack of my childhood. I sang along to many of his songs from the back seat of my mom’s car & fell in love with his spirit for the words he was singing & the people he was singing for. My thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends as they navigate these next few weeks & months without him. He fought a good fight & will be missed!” – Paige King Johnson
“Toby Keith epitomized what real country music is all about. His heart for this country was true Red, White, and Blue.” – Joey Canyon / Canyon Star TV
“When Toby Keith died, a piece of my childhood died with him. His music has been the soundtrack of my life. Today, we lost a true icon, and he will be missed.” – Will Wesley
“Toby Keith owned the radio airwaves when I was a kid. “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” was one of his boldest moves as an artist. I love that song and appreciate him always speaking his mind. Cancer is indiscriminate. We’ll miss him.” – Levi Riggs