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Toby Keith d.i.e.s of stomach cancer at 62: Know these signs – final update!

Country music fans are mourning Toby Keith’s death in 2024, 18 months after he shared that he was being treated for stomach cancer.

The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer died at 62 on Feb. 5, his official website and social media said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family,” the message reads. “He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

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Country music star Toby Keith has died at 62 from stomach cancer.Jason Kempin / Getty Images
Keith had still been performing up until December, when he played shows in Las Vegas, one month after releasing his final album.

How did Toby Keith die?

Keith died of stomach cancer. The statement about his death noted that he “fought his fight with grace and courage.”

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Keith shared in June 2022 that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was undergoing treatment.

“I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery,” he posted in his first public comments about his illness. “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.”

Keith shared an update on his condition on Sept. 28, 2023, when he received the Country Icon Awards at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Keith performed at the People’s Choice Country Awards in Nashville in September 2023 in the midst of his treatments for stomach cancer. Mickey Bernal / NBC
“I feel pretty good,” Toby told E! News at the time. “It’s a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you’re up and down, up and gown. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero, but I feel good today.”

Keith added that his tumor had shrunk by about a third of its size at that time.

He also performed at the event, singing “Don’t Let the Old Man In” from Clint Eastwood’s movie “The Mule.”

“I’ve been going through my cancer fight for the last couple of years, and it’s really inspiring for a lot of people,” he said during NBC’s pre-show event. “And coming back on TV for the first time and performing live in front of a live audience, I thought it was fitting.”

Keith’s final public performances came in a trio of sold-out shows in Las Vegas on Dec. 10, 11 and 14, 2023.

“They’re kind of rehab shows, get the band back in sync, get me rolling again,” he said in a video announcing the performances. “First time in my whole life I’ve been off over two years. I’ve never been off a year in my life.”

“Through COVID and cancer, the old devil’s been after me a little bit,” he added. “I’ve got him by the horns right now, so instead of just sitting around and waiting, we’re going to get the band back together.”

What causes stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world and is caused by changes in the way stomach cells function, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Keith at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards held at The Grand Ole Opry House on Sept. 28, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. Variety via Getty Images

Risk factors for stomach cancer include tobacco use, obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease, a diet high in salted and smoked foods, age and family history. Men are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease than women, according to the NCI.

Stomach cancer can be hard to detect early because symptoms don’t usually begin to show until after the cancer has spread, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Symptoms include:

Indigestion and stomach discomfort
Feeling bloated after eating
Mild nausea
Loss of appetite
Blood in the stool
Weight loss for no known reason
A build-up of fluid in the abdomen
Trouble swallowing

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