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Toby Keith Returns to the Stage for the First Time Since Cancer Diagnosis

Photo from Toby Keith’s Instagram

Toby Keith Returns to the Stage for the First Time Since Cancer Diagnosis

By Movieguide® Contributor

Toby Keith performed a surprise show on July 1, his first performance since his stomach cancer diagnosis in June 2022. 

“Toby’s first rehearsal turned into a 2 1/2 hour pop-up show. He sand all the hits plus the Bus Songs… Toby is back!” he posted on Instagram following his surprise performance. 

Keith followed it up with a second night, saying, “It felt so right, Toby had to do it twice. Two nights in a row @hollywoodcorners. Writing buddy @scottyemerick joined Toby. Nights to remember! Toby’s back!” 

The country star performed the pop-up shows at his restaurant and bar, Hollywood Corners, in Norman, Oklahoma. 

While fans were thrilled to see him back onstage, fans who had faced cancer in the past cautioned him about returning before he’s fully ready. 

“As a recent pancreatic cancer survivor my only advice is: don’t over do it! Your fans love you and we want you to be healthy even BEFORE we want to hear/see you perform. As long as you are healthy enough, I am thrilled that you are able to perform again,” one fan commented. 

Keith has long been looking forward to returning to the stage since he has had to stop his performances. During his first interview since revealing that he had stomach cancer, he told fans that he was “getting back to fighting shape.” 

This June, during his annual Toby Keith & Friends Annual Golf Classic, Keith told a local news outlet that he was “feeling pretty good,” while noting that “everything is in a real positive trend… [but] you never know with cancer, so you have to prepare.” 

He also said at that event that he hoped to be “out on the road this fall.” 

Keith’s performance last week is hopefully only a taste of what’s to come. It will certainly give him an idea of how the recovery process is coming along. 

Movieguide® previously reported on Keith’s stomach cancer: 

He mentioned the possibility of touring again as well, saying he has “more wind” to sing and is thinking about “bringing the band in and setting up, playing two or three days somewhere, just to see if I can get through two hours.”

“All I gotta do is see if I can get through two or three nights of work and get a little break in this chemo, and we’ll go back to work,” the country star concluded. 

Keith revealed his diagnosis on social media last year. 

“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” hewrote. “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”


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