Country music star Toby Keith announces stomach cancer diagnosis

<span>Photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/Rex/Shutterstock

Country music star Toby Keith has announced he is being treated for stomach cancer.

In a statement on social media, he wrote: “Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”

He said he was spending time with family, “but I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”

Keith is one of the most successful country artists in the US. His debut album was released in 1993, and by the turn of the century he had crossed over in the pop mainstream: 2002’s Unleashed and 2003’s Shock’n Y’all topped the US album chart. Twenty of his singles have topped the US country chart.

As well as songs about traditional country music topics – love and drinking – Keith is known for his pro-American songwriting, including the controversial Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American), written in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.