Country music star Toby Keith dies at 62

The "Red Solo Cup" singer had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

February 6, 2024, 1:50 PM

Toby Keith, the country star known for chart-topping hits including "Beer for My Horses" and "Made in America," died on Monday. He was 62.

He "passed peacefully" on Monday night, a statement posted on his official X account said Tuesday.

The "Red Solo Cup" singer announced in June 2022 that he'd been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was "receiving chemo, radiation and surgery."

"He fought his fight with grace and courage," Tuesday's statement said. "Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."

ABC News confirmed his death with a representative.

PHOTO: Toby Keith performs onstage for the BMI Icon Award during the 2022 BMI Country Awards at BMI on Nov. 8, 2022 in Nashville.
Toby Keith performs onstage for the BMI Icon Award during the 2022 BMI Country Awards at BMI on Nov. 8, 2022 in Nashville.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images, FILE

Keith shot to fame in 1993 with his debut single "Should've Been a Cowboy," his first No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

He would go on to amass 20 No. 1 hits on that chart, with the songs, "How Do You Like Me Now?!," "I Wanna Talk About Me," "Beer for My Horses," "Who's Your Daddy?," "I Love This Bar" and "As Good as I Once Was," among others.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the Oklahoma native found success with a slew of patriotic songs, most notably with 2002's "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)." The single went to No. 1 as did 2003's "American Soldier" and 2011's "Made in America."

Keith was a two-time winner for the Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year and he received the inaugural country icon award at the first People's Choice Country Awards last September.

He was also awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Donald Trump in 2021.

Tributes to Keith poured in Tuesday from across the country music world.

"We toured together several times around the globe," singer Billy Ray Cyrus said in a statement. "He was always the kindest ... sweetest gentle giant of an outlaw one could ever hope to entertain and make music with. Raising a Red Cup this morning and saying a prayer. Heavens a honkytonk tonight."

"Even though I knew about your battle these last few months I still never imagined this day," singer and TV personality Blake Shelton wrote on Instagram. "Anyone who knew you knows what I mean. You were the toughest man I ever met."

Grammy winner Carrie Underwood posted on X, "Saddle up the horses, Jesus, 'cause a true blue COWBOY just made his ride up to heaven!!!"

Keith is survived by his wife of 40 years, Tricia Lucus, and their daughters Shelley and Krystal, and son Stelen.