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Toby Keith during his final performance. Photo: NBC video.

Toby Keith said faith was his rock during cancer journey

Country music star Toby Keith leaned on his faith to battle cancer before his death on February 5.

He discussed his ordeal last month in an interview with an Oklahoma City television station. When asked how he maneuvers through those “dark hallways,” he answered: “Faith. You take it for granted on the days that things are good, and you lean on it when days are bad. It has taught me to lean on a little more every day.”

Keith, 62, first was diagnosed with cancer in October 2021. As he was enduring chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, he said he “got to the point where I was comfortable with whatever happened. I had my brain wrapped around it, and I was in a good spot either way. Cancer is a roller coaster. “You just sit here and wait on it to go away. It might never go away.”

READ: John Tesh talks about cancer battle

Keith’s music career spanned three decades. Before he rose to fame in the 1990s, he worked in the oilfields of Oklahoma and also played semipro football as a defensive end for the Oklahoma City Drillers. After going to Nashville, Keith signed a recording deal with Mercury Records and released his debut album in 1993, which went platinum and skyrocketed him to fame.

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Keith’s last performance:

“Should’ve Been a Cowboy” from his first album became the most-played country song of the decade, according to the Associated Press. He would release other hits such as “How Do You Like Me Now?,” “Beer for My Horses” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.” Keith was outspoken about his patriotism, getting into a tussle with the Dixie Chicks in 2003 after they publicly criticized then-President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. He played music for the troops during 11 USO tours.

“I lean on my faith, and I just pray and lean into it,” he told Fox News last fall. “You got to do what you got to do, and I don’t know how people do it without faith That’s what I did, it was my rock.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice


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