‘Made in America’ country music legend Toby Keith dead at 62

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Country music legend Toby Keith died Monday night after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer. A
message posted to the “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer’s social media page noted that he died surround by his family.

“He fought his fight with grace and courage,” continued the message. “Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

The Oklahoma native, born in Clinton on July 8, 1961, announced in June 2022 that he had cancer and that he had been undergoing chemotherapy for several months.

Prior to his
receipt of the Country Icon Award at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards in September 2023, the derrickhand’s son told Fox News Digital, “I lean on my faith, and I just pray.”

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“You gotta do what you gotta do, and I don’t know how people do it without faith. … That’s that what I did,” added Keith.

The singer underscored that throughout his battle with cancer, faith “was [his] rock.”

Upon receiving the Country Icon Award, Keith singled out his Creator, saying, “I want to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight. He’s been riding shotgun with me for a little while.”

Keith sold over 40 million records worldwide and had over 60 singles reach the country charts; 42 top-10 hits; and at least 20 singles at number one in the charts — including “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “My List,” “How Do You Like me Now?!,” “As Good as I Once Was,” “Beer for My Horses,” and “Made in America.”

According to his
website, his music also netted over 10 billion streams.

The New York Times
indicated Keith was already in his 30s when he signed his first record deal in 1993. He previously worked as a semi-pro football player with the Oklahoma City Drillers, a rodeo hand, and a roughneck in the Oklahoma oil fields.

He
told Dan Rather on “The Big Interview” in 2018 that when “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” became his first No. 1 country single in 1993, he was performing “28, 29 shows a month because I didn’t know I was going to get a second hit.”

“At the time I was just trying to outwork everybody,” he added.

Keith was an unapologetic patriot even when his love of country prickled others in the music industry.

The Times noted that Keith’s No. 1 country single “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” — a heartfelt response to the death of his father, a disabled veteran, and the 9/11 Islamic terror attacks on the U.S. — upset others with its nationalist flare.

Keith later noted, “I don’t apologize for being patriotic.”

In addition to going on 11 USO tours visiting American troops overseas, the Associated Press indicated Keith raised millions of dollars for various charities over the course of his career and built the OK Kids Korral in Oklahoma City — a cost-free home for children fighting cancer.

Keith is survived by Tricia Keith, his wife of 39 years; his three children; his brother, mother, and sister; and four grandchildren.

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