NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Country music stars and local musicians around Nashville are reacting to the news of Toby Keith's passing.
The country icon lost his battle to stomach cancer Monday night at the age of 62. Keith rocked the country music world in the 1990s and was adored by fans who rallied alongside his overt patriotism and pro-American anthems. During his career, the star even traveled overseas to play for American troops.
Hit songs include "American Soldier," "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," and "I Love This Bar."
“I think it’s really sad that you don’t really realize somebody’s impact until they’re gone," singer Sasha McVeigh told FOX 17 News early Tuesday on Broadway. "And I hope that he knew how much of an impact and how much of a legacy that he really is leaving on this community."
Nashville rapper and country music star Jelly Roll also expressed his condolences, saying "Toby inspired millions and I was one of them."
Throughout the cancer treatments, Keith still performed. His family says he died peacefully Monday surrounded by loved ones.
"He's a legend and now he's up there playing his guitar with other legends that we've lost." -Sasha McVeigh
Tennessee native Dolly Parton posted her condolences on social media, call Keith "one of the greats."
"It's always hard when we lose our brothers and sisters in country music," Dolly wrote. "Toby Keith was one of the greats in every way. He will be missed but his music and legacy will live on."
Billy Ray Cyrus called Keith the "kindest, sweetest gentle giant."
“Stood me still with emotion and memories to see and hear of the loss of my friend the legend Toby Keith. Heart breaking with thoughts and prayers for his fans and family this morning. We toured together several times around the globe. He was always the kindest sweetest gentle giant of an outlaw one could ever hope to entertain and make music with. Raising a Red Cup this morning and saying a prayer. Heavens a honkytonk tonight.” - Billy Ray Cyrus
See more reaction from the country music industry and other icons here.
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