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Toby Keith reveals he’s been battling stomach cancer since last year – National

Country music star Toby Keith announced on Sunday that he has been secretly battling stomach cancer for months.

Keith wrote in a statement posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts that he had been aware of his cancer diagnosis since late last fall and has been undergoing treatment for the past six months.

But despite receiving “chemo, radiation and surgery,” the country star still plans to return to the stage soon.

“So far, so good,” said Keith, an Oklahoma resident who will turn 61 on July 8. “I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”

“I look forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner rather than later. I can not wait.”

The status of Keith’s performances for the remainder of this year was not immediately clear.

According to his official website, Keith is scheduled to perform at Ribfest in Wheaton, Illinois on June 17, but his July 28 show at the Ohio State Fair has been canceled after the revelation of Keith’s battle with cancer.

Keith’s publicist, Elaine Schock, said in an email Sunday evening that some tour dates will be canceled, “but I’m not sure how many at the moment.”

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Keith has two scheduled tour dates in Canada: a show on July 22 in Winnipeg and a performance in Thunder Bay on July 23.

The longtime country music idol has 32 No. 1 singles in the US and is best known for hits including: Red Solo Cup and I want to talk about me. Keith released his debut album in 1993 and became a household name in the wake of 9/11 with the release of his 2002 song Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).

In 2021, Keith received the National Medal of Arts from then-President Donald Trump – the highest award for artistic achievement given by the United States government.

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Keith has been active in helping children with cancer since 2006 when he founded the Toby Keith Foundation to “promote the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients”.

In 2014, the OK Kids Korral foundation opened a free home where the families of childhood cancer patients can stay while their loved one is being treated at nearby medical facilities.

— With files from The Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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