Toby Keith shared an update on his health after announcing last year that he’d been battling stomach cancer. The beloved country star said it’s been “a little bit of a roller coaster” as he arrived at the first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards on Thursday evening (September 28) in Nashville, Tennessee. Keith accepted the inaugural Country Music Icon Award with a heartfelt speech on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage.
Keith, 62, said he felt “pretty good” that night, sharing that it’s been “a little bit of a roller coaster,” he told E! News on the red carpet. “You get good days and you’re up and down, up and down. It's always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today.”
The “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” star said in an interview earlier this year that he was still undergoing chemotherapy and his tumor has shrunk by about a third. Keith expressed that he hopes to tour again when he has the energy and strength to perform a show.
Keith revealed his stomach diagnosis in a statement in June 2022, sharing at that time that that he’d been diagnosed in the fall of 2021. He said at the time time: “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. -T.”
Keith took the Grand Ole Opry stage to accept his Country Music Icon Award, joking, “I bet y’all never thought you’d see me in skinny jeans.
“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 continued as he made his acceptance speech. “I want to thank my beautiful families here. A lot of people go into making a big career like this of 30 years. …God bless y’all. Have a wonderful evening.”