Toby Keith’s Son Breaks His Silence Following His Dad’s Death

Stelen Keith Covel/Instagram

Toby Keith’s son has spoken for the first time since the family announced his death on February 5th.

In the early morning hours of February 6th, Toby Keith’s family shared the heartbreaking news that the beloved singer had passed away the day prior from stomach cancer which he had been battling since 2021. In a statement posted across social media, the family shared:

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


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A post shared by Toby Keith (@tobykeith)

Toby Keith’s cancer journey

Toby Keith was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2021. He battled the illness privately for a few months before going public with the news in 2022. At the time, he told his fans that he was taking a break from performing so he could focus on his treatment and spend time with his family.

In September, Toby gave his first televised performance since his diagnosis during the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards. The award-winning artist looked visibly frail but moved millions of viewers with his song “Don’t Let The Old Man In.” The song afterwards became the emotional soundtrack to Toby’s battle against the disease.

In the months that followed, Toby reported that he was feeling good despite continuing cancer treatment. He made a triumphant return to the headlining stage with three sold-out shows in Las Vegas between December 12-14, 2023. Little did fans know, these would be the last live performances of Toby Keith’s lifetime.


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A post shared by Toby Keith (@tobykeith)

Toby Keith’s family speaks out

For the first time since his passing, the family of Toby Keith has broken their silence. Toby’s son, Stelen, posted a statement to social media Thursday afternoon. In the post, he remembered his dad as “My guiding star. My coach. My hero.”

In the beautifully written tribute, Stelen praised Toby’s love as a father and husband, and noted his passion and impact on the world.

“You held a passion that was greater than mountains and it radiates through every lyric and chord. In the everlasting echo from the legacy of your music, you leave me strength and faith to lean on in the silence that follows,” Stelen wrote.

“The only thing I truly ever wanted in life was to make you proud. I promise I will continue to make you proud,” he concluded. “It’s not goodbye forever; it’s just goodbye for now. I love you cowboy.”

Read Stelen Covel’s full tribute to his father below.

Toby Keith was the founder of the Toby Keith Foundation. The foundation helps support the OK Kids Korral, which serves as a home-away-from-home for families with children undergoing cancer treatments. If you’d like to make a donation in Toby’s memory, you can visit the Toby Keith Foundation’s official website here.

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