Fact Check: Toby Keith Is Not Dead, Regardless of What the Internet Says

Jason Kempin / Getty Images
Jason Kempin / Getty Images


Country Singer Toby Keith died in 2023.


Rating: False
Rating: False

It's been about a year and a half since country star Toby Keith announced he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, but reports of the singer's death have been greatly exaggerated. As of Oct. 25, 2023, Keith is alive and even plans to perform shows in the upcoming months, according to a post on his Instagram page.

This particular rumor isn't uncommon. Keith's cancer diagnosis has likely increased the number of death hoaxes about him, and Snopes has regularly received tips from readers about articles or videos claiming that Keith has died in the past year.

If Keith had died, reputable news outlets like The Associated Press would have published obituaries and memorialized his legacy and work. No such reports have been published. Word of the singer's death might also come from Keith's representatives or his family, but they have not made an announcement either.

This hoax spread on YouTube and sites like Mediamass.net, which is not a reliable source of information. Mediamass published an identical article about Keith's supposed death in June 2022 as well. On its site, the outlet describes its content as satirical, saying "The website mediamass.net is the medium of our satire to expose with humour, exaggeration and ridicule the contemporary mass production and mass consumption that we observe."

Snopes has previously fact-checked false rumors about the deaths of celebrities, most recently the actors Kurt Russell and Clint Eastwood. Both are still alive as of Oct. 25, 2023, and both also had articles about their deaths published on Mediamass.net.


5 Minutes Ago / R.I.P Singer Toby Keith Died on the Way to the Hospital / Goodbye Toby Keith. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QTIoSXBH8Y. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.

The Mediamass Project : Media Criticism through Satire. https://en.mediamass.net/blog/mediamass-project. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.

“Toby Keith Announces Las Vegas Concerts amid Cancer Battle: ‘Get the Band Back Together.’” USA TODAY, https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2023/10/20/toby-keith-announces-las-vegas-concerts-2023/71261336007/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.

“Toby Keith Dead 2023 : Singer Killed by Celebrity Death Hoax.” Mediamass, 25 Oct. 2023, http://en.mediamass.net/people/toby-keith/deathhoax.html.