Country Star Toby Keith Dead at 62

Country Star Toby Keith Dead at 62

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time,” was shared on his social media accounts.

Keith leaves behind his wife, Tricia Lucas, their three children—Shelley Covel Rowland, Krystal Keith, who is also a singer, and son Stelen—as well as four grandchildren. Over his distinguished career, Keith’s album sales exceeded 40 million.

In a recent interview with 9News, Keith disclosed his battle with stomach cancer, first diagnosed in 2021. Born Toby Keith Covel in Clinton, Oklahoma, in 1961, he expressed a serene acceptance of his condition, stating, “I was going through all the chemo, radiation, surgery, and I got to the point where I was comfortable with whatever happened. I had my brain wrapped around it, and I was in a good spot either way.”

December 2023 saw him perform his last concerts, a trio of shows in Las Vegas, hinting at a potential U.S. tour with plans of “getting the trucks and buses fired up.” In the same 9News interview, Keith praised his wife as an exceptional caregiver, recounting their initial hospital visit to Houston, “Oh, she’s been a trooper. She’s the best nurse. The first time we went to Houston, to the hospital, she stepped right in and she just took control and said, ‘We got this. Let’s go.’ So she’s like, ‘We’re going to get this and don’t worry about it.'”

Keith also mentioned his Christian faith as a source of strength during his cancer journey, describing the experience as a “roller coaster.”

Keith and his wife met in an Oklahoma nightclub in 1981, marrying three years later in 1984, at which time Keith adopted Tricia’s daughter Shelley. Their family grew with the birth of Krystal in 1985 and Stelen in 1997. Keith credited his wife’s unwavering support during his early struggles in the music industry, recalling advice she received to persuade him to find a conventional job, “It took a strong-hearted and loving woman to say, ‘He’s good enough at music that I’ve got to let him try. And it’ll be a great shot for both of us he can make it work.'”

Keith’s love for his family was paramount, “I absolutely love performing and writing songs, but being at home with my wife, Tricia, and my three kids is the best feeling of all.”

In September 2023, an emotional moment was captured as Tricia shed tears during Keith’s performance of “Don’t Let the Old Man In” after he received the Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Country Awards.

Before his music career, Keith worked in the Oklahoma oil fields and played semi-pro football. He shared lessons learned from the oil boom and his early financial struggles, emphasizing the importance of financial prudence.

Keith’s music career was marked by his independence and entrepreneurial spirit, including his involvement with Big Machine Records and his ventures outside of music, such as his restaurant chain and premium mezcal brand.

Despite his success, Keith remained humble about his financial achievements, focusing instead on his work ethic and the sacrifices made for his career. He openly discussed his cancer battle in 2022, emphasizing his focus on recovery and family time.

Keith’s charitable efforts included founding a foundation to support children with cancer. Known for his outspoken political views, Keith’s song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” garnered both acclaim and controversy for its patriotic fervor following September 11th.

Keith’s career was also marked by public feuds and a strong pro-military stance, demonstrated through his USO tours and charitable contributions to support troops and children with cancer.

Toby Keith’s legacy in country music and his contributions to charity and patriotism leave a lasting impact, celebrated by fans and remembered for his heartfelt songs and dedication to his country and family.