Blake Shelton presents Toby Keith with Country Icon award at People's Choice Country Awards/ Toby Keith accepts Country Icon award at People's Choice Country Awards
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Blake Shelton Tributes 'Oklahoma Brother' Toby Keith at People's Choice Country Awards

Shelton says Keith "taught me more about performing than anyone else."

Blake Shelton was on hand to honor Toby Keith at the inaugural People's Choice Country Awards. Keith received the first ever Country Icon Award for his legendary country career, songwriting prowess and philanthropy.

After performing Keith's hit "Who's Your Daddy," during which Keith could be seen giving Shelton a standing ovation, Shelton shared a humorous story about opening for Keith when he was a new artist.

"I remember one night after an award show.... Toby had been up for four or five awards, and, man, he didn't win crap that night," Shelton said. "I was talking to him that night...I said, man, Toby, if I ever make it big enough and I get nominated for some awards, I hope it's against you."

Proving that the two artists from the Sooner State have similar senses of humor, Shelton shared Keith's perfect reply.

"He said 'You know why I brought you out on tour with me? I want to prove to this industry that I don't need an opening act.'"

The "God's Country" singer went on to present the award to his "Oklahoma brother" and — on a more serious note — before introducing Keith's performance, Shelton said the country legend "taught me more about performing than anyone else."

Keith, who announced that he's been battling stomach cancer in 2022, recently shared an update on his health.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Keith told The Oklahoman in June of 2023 [quote via CountryNow]. "... I'm about another eight weeks from my last scan. So, I expect next time I look for that tumor to be even less — and I've only got one that's shown up, Basically, everything is in a real positive trend. You never know with cancer, so you have to prepare."

The "Should've Been a Cowboy" singer recently announced his new album 100% Songwriter, due out on Nov. 3.

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