Country music legend Toby Keith announced in June 2022 that he was battling stomach cancer and had been undergoing chemotherapy for several months.
“So far, so good,” he reassured fans, noting that he needed time “to breathe.”
Before receiving the Country Icon Award at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards on Thursday, the 62-year-old Oklahoma native explained how he crafted some of those precious breaths.
“I lean on my faith and just pray,” he said
told Fox News Digital. “You gotta do what you gotta do, and I don’t know how people do that without faith. … I did this.”
Keith emphasized that throughout his struggle, faith “was [his] Rock.”
After receiving the award on Thursday evening from another country star and
Christian Blake Shelton, Keith joked: “I bet you never thought you’d see me in skinny jeans.”
While thanking his family, fans and staff, he highlighted his creator and said, “I would like to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight. He’s been with me for some time now.”
He seems to have an advantage in the fight against cancer.
tell E! News: “I’m feeling pretty good. …It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride. You have good days and you’re up and down, up and down [sic]. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero, but today I feel good.”
In June the musician
revealed told the Oklahoman that his tumor had shrunk by a third and that everything was “on a really positive trend.”
At the awards ceremony, Keith performed “Don’t Let the Old Man In” from Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film “The Mule” to a misty-eyed audience.
Regarding his song choice: Keith
told NBC: “When I was back on television for the first time, performing live in front of a live audience, I thought it was appropriate.”
Keith sings in the song: “When he rides his horse/And you feel the cold, bitter wind/Look out your window and smile. / Don’t let the old man in.”
Keith noted that he looks forward to performing again in the fall if “everything goes well.”
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