Country star Toby Keith has revealed he has been battling stomach cancer for much of the past year.
“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” the 60-year-old singer wrote Sunday in a social media post.
“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. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can not wait. “
Though not explicitly stated in the post, Keith’s publicist Elaine Schock says he will not be playing upcoming gigs “for now.”
He was set to kick off his Country Comes to Town tour this Friday in Wheaton, Illinois.
Some of Keith’s famous pals took to social media to give their best wishes for the country star’s health.
“Hang in there, @tobykeith,” tweeted John Rich of country duo Big & Rich.
“Wishing you much strength and healing my friend!” ESPN anchor Hannah Storm replied.
“Sooner Nation is With yOU and Praying for yOU brother !!!” tweeted University of Oklahoma men’s basketball head coach Porter Moser. “Nobody embodies a tougher Spirit than YOU! 💪
“Praying for and thinking of you brother,” wrote country rock singer Scott Stevens.
“Wishing my big buddy a speedy recovery and a whole lotta love from most redheads around the world,” tweeted singer Sammy Hagaralongside a photo of the two.
“Praying for you, T,” commented golf media personality Taylor Cusack.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Keith pivoted to a music career after stints in the oil industry and the USFL football league. After signing with Mercury Records, Keith released his self-titled debut album in 1993, which went platinum.
The “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” singer has not been afraid to get political, releasing the biting single “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” in 2002, which was partly inspired by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The song led to a public feud between Keith and fellow country singer Natalie Maines of The Chicks, who criticized the song’s tone.
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Keith is a seven-time Grammy nominee and was recognized as entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music two years in a row in 2002 and 2003. His most recent album, “Peso in My Pocket,” spawned the top 25 country single “Old School.”
Since his diagnosis, Keith has remained in the public eye. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame last November and recently played the Heroes Honor Festival at Daytona International Speedway.
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