Country singer-songwriter Toby Keith has died after battling stomach cancer

Toby Keith, a sometimes polarizing figure in country music who crafted an identity around his macho, pro-American swagger, has died. He was 62.

The “Beer For My Horses” singer-songwriter, who was battling stomach cancer, died peacefully Monday surrounded by his family, according to a statement posted on the country singer’s website. “He fought his fight with grace and courage,” the statement said. He was diagnosed in 2022.

The 6-foot-4 singer broke out in the country boom years of the 1990s, writing songs that fans loved to hear. Over his career he publicly clashed with other celebrities and journalists and often pushed back against record executives who wanted to smooth his rough edges.

He was known for his overt patriotism on post 9/11 songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and boisterous barroom tunes like “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup.” He had a powerful booming voice, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and range that carried love songs as well as drinking songs.

Among his 20 No. 1 Billboard hits were “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “My List” and “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson.

 

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