Toby Keith marks return to stage after revealing cancer diagnosis with Oklahoma shows

The Associated Press - July 8, 2023 12:26 pm

Toby Keith performs at his Hollywood Corners restaurant and music venue in Norman, Okla., on June 30, 2023. Keith was back on stage over the Fourth of July weekend with his first shows since revealing last summer that he had been fighting stomach cancer. (Suzanne Cordeiro via AP)

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Country music star Toby Keith was back on stage over the Fourth of July weekend with his first shows since revealing last summer that he had been fighting stomach cancer.

Hundreds attended the native Oklahoman’s pop-up concerts Friday and Saturday night in Norman, where he lives, The Oklahoman reports. He performed at Hollywood Corners, a 1920s roadhouse and service station that he bought and converted into a deli, bar, and music venue.

Norman resident Joanna Hall, who attended Friday’s show, told the newspaper that Keith put on a great performance and was “very thankful for everybody who showed up.”

“He seemed a little taken aback that that many people were there,” Hall said. “He was like, ‘This was supposed to be a secret. … This was a bigger secret than what I intended.’ ”

Keith’s publicist confirmed that Keith and his Easy Money Band played for about two and a half hours both nights.

Last June, Keith said that he had been battling stomach cancer since fall 2021 and had already spent the past six months undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Keith, who turns 62 this weekend, told The Oklahoman last month that he was continuing with chemotherapy, that his tumor had shrunk by a third, and that his blood tests have looked good.

 

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