Tributes pour in for Toby Keith, legendary 'Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue' singer dead at 62
by Chris Pandolfo & Stephanie Giang-Paunon, Fox News, January 6, 2024
Tributes are pouring in for country singer Toby Keith, who died Monday at 62 after a battle with stomach cancer.
Keith was surrounded by family when he "passed away peacefully," according to a statement posted to his website and social media accounts.
"He fought his fight with grace and courage," it said. "Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."
The Oklahoma artist, who sold more than 40 million albums throughout his career, had 20 number-one singles, including "Should've Been a Cowboy," "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)," "Beer for my Horses" and "As Good as I Once Was."
An outspoken and sometimes controversial advocate for American military service members, Keith went on 11 USO tours to perform for U.S. service members serving overseas. He also helped to raise millions for charity over his career, including building a home in Oklahoma City for kids and their families who are battling cancer. He wrote about his support for the men and women in America's military with his 2003 hit, "American Soldier."
Heartbroken fans and friends offered their condolences to the family and shared their love for Keith's music on social media.
Blake Shelton broke his silence about his dear friend.
"Even though I knew about your battle these last few months I still never imagined this day. Anyone who knew you knows what I mean. You were the toughest man I ever met," Shelton wrote on his Instagram Story.
"Thank you brother for being a friend, a hero and an inspiration. There will never be another Toby Keith."
Billy Ray Cyrus shared a touching message following Keith’s death.
"Stood me still with emotion and memories to see and hear of the loss of my friend… the legend… Toby Keith. Heart breaking with thoughts and prayers for his fans and family this morning. We toured together several times around the globe," Cyrus said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital.
"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."
Country singer Carrie Underwood gave an emotional tribute to Keith on social media with several photos of the two.
"Saddle up the horses, Jesus, ‘cause a true blue COWBOY just made his ride up to heaven!!! Introduce him to all the Okies and sign that boy up for the choir! We’re gonna miss you, Toby, but my heart has no doubt that you are standing in the presence of our King right now!!! See you again someday, friend."Fellow country music artist Jason Aldean took to Instagram to share heartfelt words about Keith’s passing.
"Just waking up to the news of Toby Keith’s passing. Today is a sad day for Country music and its fans. Toby was a huge presence in our business and someone we all looked up to and respected. You and your music will be forever remembered big man."
He added photos of the two performing and posing backstage at Aldean’s "Highway Desperado" tour.
The "Try That In A Small Town" singer told Fox News Digital in October that one of the highlights of his tour was sharing the stage with Keith.John Rich wrote on X, "Waking up to the terrible news that our friend, and legend @tobykeith has passed away from cancer. He was a true Patriot, a first class singer/songwriter, and a bigger than life kind of guy. He will be greatly missed."
"He was such an incredible talent, and he loved his family like he loved his country. And we should not forget what a fun guy he was," Kid Rock said on "Fox and Friends" Tuesday, reacting to Keith's death.
The Detroit rapper spoke about how he and Keith would perform for U.S. troops overseas on USO tours.
"We used to joke about who went over there more because me and him definitely have tens, if not 20 times, that we had been there. Spending Christmas and Thanksgiving, just whenever we were called we went to do it," Kid Rock said.
"too many rides in my old man’s car listening to Toby Keith. really hard thing to hear. rest in peace friend we love you," Zach Bryan expressed on X.