The country singer’s gigs in Oklahoma were his first since June 2022, when he revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
Over the holiday weekend, Toby Keith triumphantly made his stage debut for the first time since disclosing his stomach cancer diagnosis last summer. He gave two unexpected concerts.
On June 30 and July 1, the 61-year-old country singer performed two 2.5-hour sets at Hollywood Corners in Norman, Oklahoma, the bar and music venue he owns.
A July 1 Instagram post on his page stated, “Toby’s first rehearsal turned into a 212-hour pop-up show.” He performed all the hits as well as the Bus Songs.”
The following evening, Keith posted again, revealing more images of himself laughing and holding a guitar alongside longtime friend and business partner Scotty Emerick.
The events were Keith’s first set of performances following his June 2022 announcement that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer the previous fall and was undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.
The “I Love This Bar” singer gave The Oklahoman a health update last month, stating that he was “feeling pretty good” and intended to go on tour once more by the end of the year provided he could maintain his strength.
“In general, everything is moving in a really favorable direction. With cancer, you never know, so you need to be ready, he said. I have more wind. And I’m considering setting up shop with the band and performing somewhere for two or three days to see if I can make it through two hours.”
“All I have to do is see whether I can get through two or three nights of work and take a short break from this treatment, and then we’ll resume work,” he continued.
According to Keith, who is still receiving chemotherapy, his blood tests are getting better, and his tumor has shrunk by about a third. He added that he saw a dietician and was undergoing immunotherapy.
As he told CMT in December, the artist needed “a little bit of time to just rest up and heal up” before doing so, but he had previously indicated an interest in performing once his health was back in order.