Toby Keith revealed on Sunday that he had started treatment for stomach cancer, an illness he had known about since the fall of 2021. Now, Keith has canceled his remaining shows for the year, including this weekend’s 33rd annual Ribfest in Wheaton, Illinois.
“Last fall, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” Keith, 60, said on social media. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover, and relax.”
Keith was scheduled to perform on Friday at the BBQ festival, and Ribfest’s website says the festival is “actively seeking a replacement for Toby Keith to join Elle King on Friday, June 17. Instructions for refund requests will be available in the future.”
Before sharing his diagnosis, Keith had more than a dozen tour dates listed on his website – all of which have been removed.
Multiple reports confirm Keith has canceled his tour dates for the remainder of the year. However, the singer promised to see fans again sooner than they think.
“I am looking forward to spending this time with my family,” he wrote on social media. “But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”
Keith’s fellow country singers rushed to wish him well as news of his illness spread.
“Damn bro,” Jason Aldean wrote. “Hate ur dealing with that, but if anybody can kick Cancer’s ass, it’s you. Prayin for ya big man.”
“Praying for a full healing in your body!!” RaeLynn added.
Keith is one of country music’s most enduring, prolific and patriotic artists. Over the course of his career, the Oklahoma singer has charted 61 radio singles, more than half of which went to No. 1. His hits include “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” and “Beer For My Horses.”