Toby Keith Speaks About Return To Performing After Being Diagnosed With Cancer

CMT Hot 20 Countdown / Twitter

Back in June, Toby Keith revealed he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2021. He said:

Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. 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’t wait.


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Keith later thanked his fans for the outpouring of support he received after revealing his diagnosis. “Thank you for all your love and support. I have the best fans in the world,” he said.

In October, the BMI named Keith as the recipient of its Icon Award. Keith attended the ceremony in November, where he was honored with tributes from Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Dean Dillon, and Scotty Emerick.

Feelin’ the love. I was proud to accept @BMI’s Icon Award Tuesday night,” Toby captioned a carousel of photos from the ceremony.


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Also in November, Keith performed for the first time since revealing his diagnosis. He made a surprise appearance during a Breeders Cup pre party at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse In Lexington, Kentucky.

Later in November, Keith crashed the duo Tim & Taylor’s performance at a hotel bar in Norman, Oklahoma. He joined the duo onstage and sang for 30 minutes.

@timandtaylorofficial We had so much fun last weekend in Norman, OK. Thanks for singing with us @Toby Keith !!! 🤠 #tobykeith #courtesyoftheredwhiteandblue #timandtaylor ♬ original sound – Tim & Taylor

In his first interview since revealing his cancer diagnosis, Keith spoke with with Cody Alan on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown. During that interview, Keith shared his plans to return to performing. He made it clear he’s ready to get back onstage:

Yeah, I’m thinking about…I’m thinking about getting back to fightin’ shape,” Keith said. “I need a little bit of time to just rest up and heal up. It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that, but as long as everything stays hunky-dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future.”

Keith said he hasn’t scheduled any concerts yet since he still needs to focus on his health right now. But it’s encouraging to hear he’s ready to get back to performing live shows.

Head below to watch part of Keith’s interview on the Hot 20 Countdown. We’ll continue to keep him in our prayers.