Toby Keith's Son Stelen Posts Touching Tribute to His Dad: 'I Love You Cowboy'

The country star, 62, died Monday surrounded by family

<p>Stelen Covel/instagram</p> Stelen Covel and his father Toby Keith

Stelen Covel/instagram

Stelen Covel and his father Toby Keith

Toby Keith's son Stelen Covel paid tribute to his late father in a touching Instagram post on Thursday.

Covel, 26, honored his father in a lengthy post where he called him "my guiding star" and "the best mentor a man could ask for."

Keith, born Toby Keith Covel, died on Monday at age 62. He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer two-and-a-half years prior.

"You are the strongest man I have ever known. A fighter. A true titan of your industry. My guiding star. My coach. My hero," Covel wrote alongside an undated photo of him as a child and his father in a pool.

"An embodiment of the American Spirit," the post read. "You are a man whose strength, prowess, and talent could only be trumped by his ability to be a father and husband. Your impact is forever stamped on the world and on millions of people, yet not one person knew you the way I did. You were my biggest champion and the guiding light in my darkest times. The best mentor a man could ask for."

Related: Brett Favre Says Toby Keith Told Him He Quit Chemo and Was ‘Tired’ Days Before His Death at 62

<p>Stelen Covel/instagram</p>

Stelen Covel/instagram

"You held a passion that was greater than mountains and it radiates through every lyric and chord. In the everlasting echo from the legacy of your music, you leave me strength and faith to lean on in the silence that follows. You truly did it your way, from the starting gates to the finish line, and never apologized for it. The only thing I truly ever wanted in life was to make you proud. I promise I will continue to make you proud," Covel wrote.

"It’s not goodbye forever; it’s just goodbye for now. I love you cowboy. 🤠 🤍," Covel concluded.

Covel's wife Haley, whom he married in 2021, also shared a sweet tribute to her late father-in-law with a photo of him walking her down the aisle at her wedding.

"I'll never have the right words to say. Toby was larger than life at home and on stage. It's a complete honor to be his daughter-in-law," she wrote. "He took me in as his own and I'll be forever grateful for that. He touched the lives of so many and I'm blessed to be one of those."

Covel was the youngest of Keith's three children with wife Tricia Lucus. The singer adopted Tricia’s first daughter, Shelley, 43, after the two wed in 1984. The pair then welcomed their first child together, Krystal, 38, in September 1985. Covel, their only son, was born in April 1997.

<p>Stelen Covel/instagram</p> Toby Keith in an undated photograph with his son Stelen Covel

Stelen Covel/instagram

Toby Keith in an undated photograph with his son Stelen Covel

Covel's wife Haley added, "Thank you for sharing him with me 🤍 I love you." The couple wed back in November 2021.

Before his death, one of the things Keith was most proud of was his family and how “great” all the kids grew up to be. He told PEOPLE in 2010 that despite growing up in the spotlight, his children were all doing well.

“Everybody in the family is good,” he said. “I was raised by good parents and I have great kids. They don’t have any issues at all — none.”

Related: Blake Shelton Remembers Toby Keith Following His Death at 62: 'You Were the Toughest Man I Ever Met'

“They all grew up with me being successful, but they are not hooked on that part of the business,” he added at the time.

Keith "passed peacefully" on Monday night "surrounded by his family," according to a family statement.

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