Major country music icon Toby Keith passed away at the age of 62 after selling tens of millions of records.
“[He] passed away peacefully last night… surrounded by his family,” according to a post on his social media accounts.
Keith became well-known in the 1990s thanks to hits like “should’ve Been a Cowboy,” which peaked at the top of the country music charts.
The celebrity revealed that his stomach cancer diagnosis was “debilitating” when he made the announcement in June 2022.
That he “fought his fight with grace and dignity” was stated in the statement.
Millions of people loved hits like “Who’s Your Daddy” and “Made in America” during the course of a more than 30-year career. His three children and his wife, Tricia Lucus, survive him.
Keith stated that in addition to radiation and chemotherapy, he had undergone surgery for his cancer. He declared himself “comfortable with whatever happened” in relation to his condition.
Born in Oklahoma, he played semi-professional American football and worked in oil fields before becoming well-known as a musician in the 1990s.
When it was published in 1993, his first single, “Shoulda Be a Cowboy,” shot to the top of the charts. With references to singing cowboys Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, the song romanticises the cowboy way of life.
Albums released later on included Unleashed, Pull My Chain, and Blue Moon.
Toby Keith told the BBC, “I write about lives I know.”
Keith’s compositions often alluded to patriotic themes. One of his most contentious songs, Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American), was published soon after the 9/11 attacks and received backlash for its allegedly chauvinistic lyrics.
The Dixie Chicks, other country musicians, took issue with the song. Before Keith declared there were “far more important things” to focus on, the dispute persisted for a few months.
He performed at events for various US presidents throughout the years, including Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush. Keith received a National Medal of the Arts from Mr. Trump in 2021.