Toby Keith Shares Update on His Health & Surgery He Had on Stomach

Toby Keith stopped by The Bobby Bones Show for the first time since his stomach cancer diagnosis to share an update on his health, music and more! 

In December, Keith made his triumphant return to the Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas with 3-sold-out shows, which were his first official headlining shows since revealing his cancer diagnosis in June 2022. The three shows sold out in minutes, making it one of the fastest selling tickets in the venue’s history. It’s rare that people ask Bobby Bones for tickets, and last year he only had two friends ask him for tickets and one was for the Keith show in Vegas since it was such a high demand show. Due to COVID and cancer, he hasn’t performed much. When he got back to it, he wasn’t concerned about the ticket sales and only worried about remembering all the words to the songs. They did prepare a prompter for him for the words, but once he started performing, he said it was like riding a bike, he remembered everything.  

"Don't Let The Old Man In" originally appeared in Clint Eastwood's movie, The Mule from 2019. Although the movie didn’t do as well as they hoped, the song still found great success and was recorded in many different languages worldwide. When the People’s Choice Awards happened, Dick Clark's son, Rac, who Keith has been friends with for years, told him he really wanted him to perform that song. Keith wasn’t planning on doing it because it was dark, and he hadn’t been in the public eye for a few years. He wanted to do something more upbeat and fun, but Rac insisted and thought it would be a gigantic highlight, which he was right about. It went number one immediately and radio started playing it, so they wanted to reintroduce it now. Keith was surprised by its success because it sounds so country and old school, but he loves that it got its recognition. Keith is going back on the road soon and shared that his health is good but admitted it’s been a rollercoaster that’s taken him a while to wrap his brain around. He reached a point where he wasn’t going to wait around anymore and let it define him and wanted to get back to what he does best, music and performing.  

Keith has a Roadhouse located in Oklahoma that is over 90 years old and has a lot of history. Bonnie and Clyde stayed in some cabins located behind it, Bob Wills and The Playboys played some shows there and over the years, it had many different identities. They were going to tear it down, but Keith bought it, cleaned it up, and made it a nice place for people to come eat and hang with their family and they can bring their dog too! He also put a stage out there for people to come do shows. One night he decided to play, so he called the manager and told them to tell the band that was scheduled that night that they were still going to get paid, but they were not going to play. He wanted to play incognito and told the manager to advertise ‘The Greasy Weenies’ as the band playing. People caught on fast though and when he arrived, people were lined up down the block to watch him perform. He wanted to see how long he could play without taking a break and did two three-hour nights. Since his cancer diagnosis, the biggest thing Keith has had to overcome is getting strength back in his singing voice. The surgery he had on his stomach, they had to stitch on his diaphragm. Not using it to sing everyday weakened the muscle so he’s been working on getting it stronger again, which he said it is every day and is having no issues.  

During COVID, his song “I Won’t Let You Down,” took on a life of its own. He included it in the set list and said it’s become a highlight of the show, but his multiple hits that spent weeks at number one always are the big moments at the show.

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