Country music fans around the world raise their Red Solo Cups in tribute to legendary singer and songwriter Toby Keith, who passed away Monday night. He was 62 years old.
Keith’s death came 18 months after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The country singer previously said that he had been receiving chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery to treat his cancer.
According to a statement posted on the artist’s social media accounts, Keith “passed away peacefully” while surrounded by his family.
“He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time,” the brief statement read.
Keith was a giant within the country music scene and, according to his website, released 32 number one songs, including Red Solo Cup, shoulda been a cowboy and How do you like me now!?
Despite his cancer diagnosis, Keith continued to perform on occasion for his dedicated fan base.
In December, Keith performed three nights at Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas. Although he was visibly thinner, Keith celebrated his musical legacy with his fan base, toasting and singing with his iconic, folky timbre.
Keith released his latest album, 100% composer, in November. The 13-track album featured a compilation of songs that Keith wrote completely alone, including his latest single, Don’t let the old man in.
Born in Clinton, Oklahoma, the famous country singer had a reputation as a tough, pro-American guy. Since the release of his first single in 1993. I should have been a cowboyKeith’s voice has been a staple in honky tonk bars across the United States and Canada.
Receive the latest national news. Sent to your email, every day.
Many of Keith’s songs included lyrics about blue-collar work and southern values. in his song Courtesy of The Red, the White and the Blue (The Angry American)Keith sang, “My dad served in the military / Where he lost his right eye / But he raised a flag in our yard / Until the day he died.” The song was written in response to the 9/11 attacks and portrayed the United States as a “big dog” that would “put a boot up your ass” in retaliation.
Always adamant about freedom of speech and political expression, Keith also wrote music for and about American military troops. He made numerous trips to the Middle East to perform for American soldiers.
Many remember Keith from his infamous feud with The Chicks (previously called the Dixie Chicks). The tension between artists began after the singer Natalie Maines criticized then–President George W. Bush, and called Keith’s Courtesy of The Red, White and Blue “ignorant.” Keith responded by showing a doctored photo of Maines with Saddam Hussein at his concert.
News of the country singer’s death has already sparked an outpouring of sympathy on social media.
Being trending now
RRSP deadline: Some experts say it’s best to ‘think twice’ before contributing
Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, here’s all the food recalled this week in Canada
Country singer Jason Aldean called it a “sad day for country music and its fans.”
“Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all admired and respected,” Aldean wrote in X. “You and your music will always be remembered as a great man.”
Donald Trump Jr. shared a photo with Keith and wrote, “We lost a legend this week.”
Country singer Zach Bryan recalled listening to Keith in his father’s car and said the news of the singer’s death was “really hard.”
Keith is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, and three children.
© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.