Toby Keith Returns to the Stage for 2 1/2-Hour Pop-Up Show Amid Cancer Battle: ‘Toby Is Back!’ [Watch]
Toby Keith fans, rejoice! The country superstar has returned to the stage after battling stomach cancer, performing an impromptu pop-up show that reportedly ran two-and-a-half hours and spanned his hits and more.
A post to Keith's social media on Saturday morning (July 1) shared a picture of Keith looking thinner than in the past, but healthy and smiling as he performed on stage, his trademark red Solo cup nearby.
"Toby‘s first rehearsal turned into a 2 1/2 hour pop-up show," the post states. "He sang all the hits plus the Bus Songs…Toby is back!"
According to an audience-shot video posted to Twitter, Keith's performance took place at his Hollywood Corners venue in Norman, Okla. The video captured him singing "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action":
Keith recently stated that he hoped to return to the live stage soon. In a recent interview focused on his 2023 Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic, he told the Oklahoman that he's been feeling well enough that he was going to bring his band back together for a few test shows, just to see if he had the stamina for the two or three hours required.
"And if I do, (I'll) be out on the road this fall," he shared.
The 61-year-old singer revealed his stomach cancer diagnosis in June of 2022, saying he'd been undergoing treatment for six months. He's only appeared at a handful of public events since then, and fans have noticed that he's been visibly thinner in recent photos online.
Keith's tumor has shrunk by a third, and he's continuing chemotherapy, as well as taking immunotherapy and working with a nutritionist to fight cancer on all fronts. He tells the Oklahoman he's not out of the woods yet in regard to his cancer battle.
"I'm about another eight weeks from my last scan. So, I expect next time I look for that tumor to be even less — and I've only got one that's shown up," he states.
"Now, they're trying to fight where the cancer backs up and says, 'Oh, you're fighting that tumor? We're gonna re-morph and turn into this kind of cancer,'" Keith adds. "So, while they (the cancer cells) are in the bullpen regrouping, we're trying to kill 'em with something different."