Since his passing on Monday, not long after ceasing chemotherapy treatment for stomach cancer, country music superstar Toby Keith has been the subject of voluminous tributes from a host of high-profile celebrities, but the fond recollections of former NFL standout Brett Favre have been especially poignant, as TMZ explains.
As the Associated Press reported, Keith died earlier this week at the age of 62, bringing an end to his fight against the deadly disease with which he was diagnosed back in 2022.
Known for hits that included “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” “I Love This Bar,” and “Red Solo Cup,” Keith left behind a legacy that is certain to endure among music fans of all ages and backgrounds.
Though he held strong appeal for listeners from all walks of life, Keith's passing also drew words of praise and remembrance from famous names such as film legend Clint Eastwood, golfer John Daly, talk show host Stephen Colbert, and even first lady Jill Biden.
However, it was a series of anecdotes from Favre that skillfully captured the essence of Keith and the manner in which he approached the undeniably unfortunate hand he was dealt in recent years.
Favre, who told TMZ that he had made a habit of contacting Keith every few months in the wake of his cancer diagnosis, offered insights into how he believes the final phase of the singer's battle unfolded.
“I think in the end, he was just tired,” Favre stated, recalling Keith's descriptions of the toll chemotherapy treatments had taken on his body.
The former professional football star provided details of his last conversation with Keith, which happened shortly before his passing, and during their chat, the country crooner revealed that he had called an end to additional treatments.
“I sent him a message and said, 'Hey man, great to see you back up and playing, I hope that you're turning a corner,” Favre remembered.
According to Favre, that prompted Keith to declare, “I quit chemo and it probably did more damage to me than even the cancer did.”
In Favre's recollection, Keith added his hope that he did not wait too long to halt the chemotherapy regimen and expressed gratitude for being able to play some shows in recent months.
“So I didn't ask him what the future holds, and gosh darn it, two weeks later he passed away,” Favre lamented, adding, “[i]n Toby's case, he put on a brave front. He went from 260 to 130 [pounds]...he handled it with grace and faith and family and stood up to the cancer as good as you can.”
Favre went on to recount some of the fun he was able to have with Keith over the years, on the golf course and elsewhere, saying, “What you hope or imagine him to be is exactly how he was.”
Though there can be little doubt that in addition to his close friends and family, millions of fans the world over are mourning the loss of the country legend they so admired, but if there is any solace to be taken in the sad events of this week, it can perhaps be found in Keith's own words, as recalled by Favre, in which he said, “Brett, whatever happens, I'm OK with it.”