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Country music legend Toby Keith announced in June 2022 that he was battling stomach cancer and had been undergoing chemotherapy for several months.
"So far, so good," he reassured fans, noting that he needed time "to breathe."
Ahead of receiving the Country Icon Award at the inaugural People's Choice Country Awards on Thursday, the 62-year-old Oklahoma native indicated how he purposed some of those precious breaths.
"I lean on my faith, and I just pray," he told Fox News Digital. "You gotta do what you gotta do, and I don't know how people do it without faith. ... That's that what I did."
Keith emphasized that throughout his battle, faith "was [his] rock."
Upon being presented the award Thursday night by fellow country star and Christian Blake Shelton, Keith joked, "I bet y'all never thought you would see me in skinny jeans."
While he made sure to thank his family, fans, and collaborators, he singled out his creator, saying, "I want to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight. He's been riding shotgun with me for a little while."
the man, the myth, the LEGEND. @tobykeith is your 2023 @peopleschoice country icon! \ud83e\udd29 watch the #PCCAs now on NBC and @peacock.— NBC Entertainment (@NBC Entertainment) 1695949842
He appears to have an edge in his battle with cancer, telling E! News, "I feel pretty good. ... It's a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you're up and down, up and gown [sic]. It's always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today."
In June, the musician revealed to the Oklahoman that his tumor had shrunk by a third and that everything was "in a real positive trend."
At the award show, Keith played "Don't Let the Old Man In" from Clint Eastwood's 2018 film "The Mule" before an audience of misty eyes.
Concerning his choice of song, Keith told NBC, "Coming back on TV for the first time and performing live in front of a live audience, I thought it was fitting."
Keith sings in the song, "When he rides up on his horse,/ And you feel that cold, bitter wind, / Look out your window and smile. / Don't let the old man in."
Keith noted he looks forward to return to performing in the fall if "everything goes good."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.