Toby Keith to be posthumously honored with Country Music Hall of Fame induction

Toby Keith

The Country Music Hall of Fame has announced that it will induct singer/songwriter Toby Keith months after he died from stomach cancer.

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Keith died on Feb. 5 at the age of 62, three days after the vote for this year’s Hall of Fame class closed.

He had been chosen in that vote, with officials learning just hours after Keith died, The New York Times reported.

“My heart sank that Tuesday afternoon, knowing that we had missed the chance to inform Toby while he was still with us,” Sarah Trahern said in the announcement on Monday.

Trahern is the chief executive of the Country Music Association.

Musicians can be included in the Hall of Fame after death, but there is a rule that prohibits it the same year they die. But Trahern said the rule didn’t apply to Keith.

Keith’s name will be included with John Anderson and James Burton during the ceremony in October at the CMA Theater in Nashville. They join 150 entertainers such as Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Charley Pride. Keith was the annual modern-day inductee, while Andeson was chosen in the veteran’s-era category for performers who became stars before 1979, Variety reported. Burton is the recording and/or touring musician honoree.

The “Red Solo Cup” singer had 20 No. 1 Billboard country singles over his three-decade career, the Times reported.

He was already a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, CNN reported.

Keith announced his cancer diagnosis in 2022 but had been receiving treatment starting in October 2021.

“I’ve spent the last six months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” Keith said in a statement in 2022. “I am looking forward to spending time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later.”

He continued performing through his health battle almost until his passing, CNN reported.

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