Toby Keith’s son, Stelen Keith Covel, shared a photo from his childhood as. He paid tribute to his late father in an Instagram post on Thursday afternoon (February 8). Covel, 27, remembered his legendary father as “the strongest man I have ever known.”
Keith died on Monday night (February 5) after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 62. The beloved country artist “passed peacefully…surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time,” reads a statement shared to his social media pages in the early morning hours Tuesday (February 6), prompting an outpouring of tributes as fans and the country music community mourn Keith’s loss. Keith announced in June 2022 that he’d been diagnosed with stomach cancer the previous fall, and had been receiving treatment and undergoing surgery. He said at that time that he would take time off with his family to rest and recover. Keith is survived by his wife, Tricia Lucus, Covel and daughters Shelley Covel Rowland and Krystal Keith.
“You are the strongest man I have ever known. A fighter. A true titan of your industry. My guiding star. My coach. My hero. An embodiment of the American Spirit,” Covel wrote in his tribute to his father on Instagram on Thursday. “You are a man whose strength, prowess, and talent could only be trumped by his ability to be a father and husband. Your impact is forever stamped on the world and on millions of people, yet not one person knew you the way I did. You were my biggest champion and the guiding light in my darkest times. The best mentor a man could ask for.
“You held a passion that was greater than mountains and it radiates through every lyric and chord,” he continued. “In the everlasting echo from the legacy of your music, you leave me strength and faith to lean on in the silence that follows. You truly did it your way, from the starting gates to the finish line, and never apologized for it. The only thing I truly ever wanted in life was to make you proud. I promise I will continue to make you proud. It’s not goodbye forever; it’s just goodbye for now.
“I love you cowboy.”