Toby Keith Jokes About Rocking Skinny Jeans Amid Cancer Battle During Emotional PCCA Speech

Toby Keith was in good spirits as he accepted the PCCA Country Music Icon Award two years after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

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Toby Keith, 62, was honored at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards where he delivered an emotional and light-hearted speech while accepting the Country Icon Award. “I bet you never thought y’all’d see me in skinny jeans,” Toby, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2021, said at the start of his speech at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House on September 28. “I want to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight,” Toby added. “He’s been riding shot gun with me for a little while now.”

The country music icon went on to thank his “beautiful family” who was there supporting him at the show. “A lot of people go in and make it a big career like this of 30 years,” Toby said, before showing some love to his management team, his band, and “all the great musicians that have played on all the albums and the studios.

Most of all,” Toby added, “I want to thank the fans for still allowing us to do what we do. God bless y’all.” Toby accepted the prestigious trophy from Blake Shelton on the stage. After his speech, Toby gave an emotional performance to his 2018 song “Don’t Let the Old Man In”  which left his wife, Tricia Lucus, in tears.

Toby Keith
Toby Keith at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards (Photo: Katherine Bomboy/NBC)

Tobey’s speech and performance came after he gave a positive update about his health at the People’s Choice Country Awards. “I feel pretty good,” the “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer told E! News“It’s a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you’re up and down, up and gown. It’s always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today.”

Toby was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2021, but he waited until June 2022 to announce it publicly. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery,” he said in a statement on social media at the time. “So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax. I am looking forward to spending time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later,” he added.

Tobey performed his first full concert since his diagnosis at the end of June 2023. He returned to the stage at his bar in Oklahoma, Hollywood Corners, for back-to-back shows on June 30 and July 1. “Toby’s first rehearsal turned into a 2 1/2 hour pop up show,” a caption for photos from the show read. “He sang all the hits plus the Bus Songs…Toby is back!”