Fact Check: NO Evidence Toby Keith Is 'Fighting For His Life' As Of January 25, 2023

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: NO Evidence Toby Keith Is 'Fighting For His Life' As Of January 25, 2023 Linkbait

Was country music star Toby Keith "fighting for his life" and hospitalized as of January 25, 2023? No, that's not true: While Keith has been diagnosed with cancer, the image attached to this post does not show him hospitalized. He has also been filmed performing and doing interviews on verified social media accounts recently.

The claim about Keith's health appeared on Facebook on January 22, 2023. The post was a link to the website "DARSAALPAKISTAN" with a web address reading in part bbcnewsz.com" (archived here). The headline read:

Toby Keith is fighting for his life. Prayers needed

Here is how the post looked at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Toby Keith fighting for life image.png

(Source: bbcnewsz.com screenshot taken on Wed Jan 25 17:25:12 2023 UTC)

While it is true that Keith revealed that in the fall of 2021 he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, he is not the hospitalized person in the image attached to the post, and "bbcnewsz.com" is not a credible news website.

A TinEye reverse image search showed the photo of a person hospitalized is from an April 7, 2021, UC Davis Health Medical Center article titled, "Expertise and kindness defy odds in long, precarious fight against COVID-19."

A January 19, 2023, Twitter post on the verified account "Old Row" showed a video of Keith singing along with a crowd at a bar popular with Oklahoma State University -- not hospitalized in a grave condition.

His social media accounts have also been active recently. For instance, on January 24, 2023, an Instagram post on his verified account has a snippet of him performing.

A Google News search using the keywords "Toby Keith Fighting For His Life In Hospital" as of January 25, 2023, produced no results to substantiate this claim.

Keith was recorded in a November 18, 2022, tweet by the gold-verified Country Music Television (CMT) Hot 20 Countdown Twitter account saying he needs time to recuperate from his medical treatments but does plan on getting back on the road in the future. This statement was reiterated in a December 16, 2022, press release on Keith's website.

Lead Stories has reached out to representatives of Keith for a statement on this claim and will update this story if a response is received.

A December 2022 Lead Stories analysis identified at least one international network that routinely spreads death hoaxes about numerous celebrities, including Keith.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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