Toby Keith Returns To Stage Amid Stomach Cancer Battle

Musician Toby Keith performs during day 2 of Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival 2010 held at The Empire Polo Club on April 25, 2010 in Indio, California.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Toby Keith took the stage over the Fourth of July weekend for the first time in more than a year after being diagnosed with stomach cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

The 61-year-old country singer performed at a couple of pop-up concerts in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, on Friday and Saturday, where hundreds of fans turned out to see the “Red Solo Cup” hitmaker, Fox News reported.

One fan told the Associated Press, Keith was “very thankful for everybody who showed up.”

“He seemed a little taken aback that that many people were there,” Joanna Hall said. “He was like, ‘This was supposed to be a secret… This was a bigger secret than what I intended.'”

The country star’s publicist confirmed to the outlet that Keith and his band performed on both nights for a few hours.

In June, representatives for the singer told the outlet that the “American Soldier” hitmaker was “feeling good,” and they “are anticipating Toby will be on the road again soon” after stepping away from the stage due to the diagnosis.

Last year, the “As Good As I Once Was” hitmaker posted a message on social media that he had been privately battling cancer after being diagnosed six months earlier.


“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” Keith tweeted in June 2022. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”

“I am looking forward to spending this time with my family,” he added. “But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”

Keith spoke to The Oklahoman recently about how he’s continuing chemotherapy. He also explained that tests showed his blood looked good, and the tumor had shrunk by a third.

“Basically, everything is in a real positive trend,” the singer said. “You never know with cancer, so you have to prepare.”

“I’ve got more wind,” he added. “All I got to do is see if I can get through two or three nights of work and get a little break in this chemo, and we’ll go back to work.”

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