Toby Keith Voted Into Country Music Hall of Fame 1 Day After His Death

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Toby Keith Inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame Following His Death

Toby Keith.
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Toby Keith’s memory will live on in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

On Monday, March 18, Sarah Trahern, the Country Music Association’s CEO, announced that Keith, John Anderson and James Burton would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. During her announcement, Trahern noted that she received the voting results one day after Keith died after a battle with stomach cancer on February 5.

“My heart sank knowing that we missed the chance to inform Toby while he was still with us. But I have no doubt that he’s smiling down on us, knowing that he’ll be ‘as good as he once was,’” Trahern shared on Monday, referring to Keith’s 2005 hit single “As Good As I Once Was.”

Keith’s family announced on February 6 that the musician had passed away after battling stomach cancer.

Toby Keith through the years

Related: Toby Keith Through the Years: Country Stardom, Cancer Battle and More

Toby Keith cemented himself as one of country music’s most legendary stars before his 2024 death. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Keith got his start playing in local bars as a member of the Easy Money Band. Later taking his talents to Nashville, Keith signed his first record deal and released his debut single, “Should’ve […]

“Toby Keith passed peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage,” a statement shared via social media read. “Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Several stars paid tribute to the late artist, including former NFL player Brett Favre who hinted at his final conversation with Keith.

“I think in the end, he was just tired. He did say that to me when we had our conversation. He said, ‘Brett, whatever happens, I’m OK with it,’” Favre recalled their last conversation to TMZ Sports on February 7, adding that he kept in touch with Keith every “three-or-so” months while the singer was battling cancer.

Favre went on to explain that Keith complained about the effects of chemotherapy shortly before his death.

“He said, ‘I quit chemo and it probably did more damage to me than the cancer did,’” Favre shared with the outlet. “And he said, ‘I just hope I didn’t quit it too late, but … I’m thankful I got a chance to play some shows. I finished them.’ [Toby] handled it with grace and faith and family. And stood up to the cancer about as good as you can. He was an entertainer. He was the best.”

Keith’s longtime rep Elaine Schock also spoke about the musician after his death, noting that Keith was often “misunderstood.”

“I loved Toby Keith,” Schock wrote in a statement on February 6. “He was brilliant, fun to be with and we would have some robust discussions. Plus, he could write and sing his ass off. Toby was kind. I think he was misunderstood because he was painted a certain way, but that was an incorrect portrait. He was so much more. He was certainly one of the most courageous men I knew.”

After announcing his stomach cancer diagnosis in fall 2021, Keith explained in June 2022 he was taking a break from performing and making new music.

“I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” he wrote online in June 2022. “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”

Keith is survived by his wife Tricia Lucus, whom he married in 1984, their three children and four grandchildren.



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