Country music icon Toby Keith took his final breath on February 5, but not before ensuring the world knew how precious his wife was to him.
Weeks before his death, the “How Do You Like Me Now?!” hitmaker reflected on his battle with stomach cancer and how his longtime spouse, Tricia Lucus, played a significant part in the challenging journey.
Toby Keith Raved About How ‘Trouper’ Wife Of Almost 40 Years Handled His Cancer Diagnosis
Keith sat down for a one-on-one interview with News 9’s Robin Marsh, where he addressed his wife’s calm response to his 2021 cancer diagnosis. He praised her for taking charge and supporting him through treatments, saying:
“She’s been a trouper. She’s the best nurse. The first time we went to Houston, to the hospital, she stepped right in, and she just took control and said, ‘We got this. Let’s go.’”
“So she’s like, ‘We’re going to get this and don’t worry about it,’” the 62-year-old added of his lover of almost 40 years. Keith and Lucus first met after the country music legend graduated from high school.
At the time, the “Red Solo Cup” singer worked his way to stardom by toiling in the oil fields and playing bars at night. The couple dated for three years before saying their vows in March 1984. Lucus opened up about their marriage in 1991, telling PEOPLE the singer-songwriter always made her feel loved.
“Most people think he is just the most romantic person on the planet,” she shared. “He has his moments of charm. It is nice to get a bouquet of flowers, but I’ve told him, ‘Save the money. Roses die in five to seven days. Buy me an outfit or take me to dinner.’”
Following their union, Keith adopted Lucus’ first daughter, Shelley. Then the pair welcomed their first child, Krystal, in September 1985 and a son named Stelen in April 1997. In a 2010 interview, the country star raved about his wife and kids, saying:
“Everybody in the family is good. I was raised by good parents, and I have great kids. They don’t have any issues at all — none. They all grew up with me being successful, but they are not hooked on that part of the business.”
Toby Keith’s Cause Of Death Revealed
Keith’s death was announced on his official Facebook page via a statement from his family. In the message, they revealed the country music star passed away after losing the battle with cancer, writing:
“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.”
Although he received his cancer diagnosis in 2021, the “As Good As I Once Was” singer didn’t reveal his condition until 2022. He broke the news on his Instagram page, telling fans he had spent six months receiving chemo, radiation, and surgery.
“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. I can’t wait,” Keith concluded his announcement.
This update explained why he had postponed all his shows at the time, and his publicist also confirmed he wouldn’t be in any performances while undergoing treatment.
Fans Reflect On Toby Keith’s Legacy
News of the icon’s death left many in despair, and fans flooded social media with touching tributes. Someone commented on Keith’s legacy in a lengthy message that read: “We lost not only a country music legend last night, but we lost a true American Patriot as well. A wonderful example of a man of dignity.”
“A married man of 40 years who raised his beautiful kids and put family right up there at the top. He LOVED this country SO much, and in every single song, that love for this country shined through,” the fan continued, adding:
“A man who will NEVER be forgotten, yet ALWAYS be missed. My heart goes out to his wife, his children, immediate & extended family, friends & to the fellow country music community. We lost one of the rare good ones. Rest Easy, Toby.”
“Rest in peace, legend. We should all have a drink in our red solo cups to remember how amazing he was. Fly high; we will remember you forever,” another chimed in.
A third commenter penned: “Heartbreaking news. Praying for his family. Thanks Toby for being a bada– and someone a singer like me could look up to. RIP big dawg!”
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