Toby Keith Shares That He Was “Weak” During PCCAs Performance

Toby Keith performs

NBC / YouTube

On September 28, Toby Keith returned to the stage after nearly two years at the first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards.

This was a huge deal because he is currently in the midst of a cancer battle, which he was diagnosed with in late 2021.  He received the Country Icon Award and Blake Shelton presented it to him, and performed one of Keith’s songs in his honor.

Toby had been showing up and surprising fans with some impromptu performances, but the PCCAs was the first time he performed on television since his stomach cancer diagnosis. The country icon had made public appearances previously – and fans definitely took notice of his smaller than usual frame.


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After his acceptance speech, Keith strapped on his guitar and performed “Don’t Let The Old Man In.”

He wrote the song for Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film The Mule.

In between the speech and his performance, Keith looked a bit uneasy, and Shelton even walked over to him to ask him if he was okay. Fans became concerned, especially because they knew about how serious his cancer has been.

Here are some online reactions to his unsteadiness.

“Toby looks miserable . I am so sad”

“Your performance was gut wrenching”

“Prayers for you Toby. You are one of the good guys ”

RELATED: Toby Keith Makes Emotional Return To The Stage To Sing “Don’t Let The Old Man In”

Toby kept his speech short and sweet, thanking his family, his label, and all the people who have had a hand in his career.

Just over two months after the People’s Choice Country Awards, Toby explained he was “weak” the night of the awards show.

Speaking with Taste Of Country, Keith opened up about how he was feeling that night. After being asked if he was nervous for his performance at the PCCA’s, he said “No,” but he wasn’t feeling great.

“I was pretty weak that day, though. I had been doing really, really good, and I went to dinner the night before and decided I would try to have a couple glasses of wine, and the next day I was really down. I shouldn’t have done that, I guess. I didn’t know.”

He continued, “I got really sick and almost missed rehearsal, so I was really weak that night. I was on chemo and was battling and it was tough.”

He didn’t let any of that stop him, seeing as he delivered an incredible performance that brought many in the audience, and so many more at home, to tears. Because of the performance, the song shot straight to the top of the iTunes charts and Keith released it to country radio the following month.

Watch his performance below.

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