Country music star TOBY KEITH headlines Day 3 of the 37th Annual "Jamboree In The Hills" 2013, also known as the "Super Bowl of Country Music".

Toby Keith’s Son Dubs Him 'My Coach & My Hero' In Touching Tribute

Home / News / Toby Keith’s Son Dubs Him 'My Coach & My Hero' In Touching Tribute

By Afouda Bamidele on February 9, 2024 at 9:15 AM EST

Toby Keith's son, Stelen Covel, continues to feel the effects of his passing. The 27-year-old recently expressed his grief in a heartfelt social media tribute, describing Keith as his "coach" and "hero." 

The late country singer, born Toby Keith Covel, passed away on Monday after a two-and-a-half-year battle with stomach cancer.

Article continues below advertisement

Stelen Covel's Tribute To Toby Keith Stirred Up Deep Feelings In His Fans

Covel opened up about his grief at losing his dad in a lengthy post shared with his thousands of followers on Friday. He uploaded a vintage shot showing him as a young boy in a swimming pool with Keith.

Article continues below advertisement
Toby Keith May Have Predicted His Death As He Quit Chemo Months Before Passing
Article continues below advertisement

In the accompanying caption, he wrote, "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. You are a man whose strength, prowess, and talent could only be trumped by his ability to be a father and husband."

Covel stated that even though the 62-year-old's "impact is forever stamped on the world and on millions of people," nobody knew him "the way I did." He dubbed his dad his "biggest champion" and the "guiding light" in his "darkest times" before adding:

"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."

Article continues below advertisement

The Tequila Chulos co-owner acknowledged that Keith had left him "strength and faith to lean on" through his music and applauded his late dad for doing things his way, which he "never apologized for."

"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," Covel concluded, along with a cowboy and a white heart emoji.

The entrepreneur's words resonated with several Instagram users, and they promptly aired their reactions in the comment section.

Article continues below advertisement

"A beautiful tribute. My deepest condolences. Prayers for the family. RIP Big Dawg Daddy," one person declared, as another claimed, "This is a stunning tribute, Stelen. I know he's proud," and a third asserted, "Truly a one-of-a-kind man. Praying for you and the family. Love you man."

Article continues below advertisement

A fourth fan also stated, "Sending you and your family so much love at this time Stelen. Even us perfect strangers could see that the only thing Toby loved more than his music was your family."

Another loved one who has addressed Keith's death is his close friend, Brett Favre. As The Blast reported, Favre disclosed that the "I Love This Bar" singer opted to discontinue chemotherapy in the months preceding his passing.

In the words of the ex-football quarterback, "[Keith] handled it with grace and faith and family and stood up to the cancer as good as you can. [But] I think in the end he was just tired. He did say that to me when we had our conversation; he said, 'Brett… whatever happens, I'm okay with it.' He said, 'I quit chemo, and it probably did more damage to me than the cancer did.'" 

Farve wrapped up, saying, "And he said, 'I just hope I didn't quit it too late, but… I'm thankful I got a chance to play some shows. I finished them.'"

Article continues below advertisement

Keith's Love For His Wife & Family Shone Through During Interviews

In the days before his death, Keith praised his wife, Tricia Lucus, for providing unwavering support throughout his cancer treatment journey after he received his diagnosis in 2021. He said:

"She's been a trouper. She's the best nurse. The first time we went to Houston, to the hospital, she stepped right in, and she just took control and said, 'We got this. Let's go.' So she's like, 'We're going to get this, and don't worry about it.'"

Toby Keith and Tricia Lucus attend Los Angeles Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'The Mule'
Article continues below advertisement

Besides raving about Lucus, the Billboard Music Awards winner previously talked about his kids in a 2010 interview, where he shared:

"Everybody in the family is good. I was raised by good parents, and I have great kids. They don't have any issues at all — none. They all grew up with me being successful, but they are not hooked on that part of the business."

Article continues below advertisement