Randy Travis joined the greats as a recent member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. At the induction ceremony, the country icon sang “Amazing Grace,” even after he had suffered a stroke three years ago.
Obviously, it was a very emotional moment. As his wife, Mary Davis-Travis, stood by his side, he took the mic and sang the old hymn, his voice not like it used to be.
Before he sang, David-Travis said some kind words about her husband, the many surgeries that saved his life, and the scary struggle he went through.
“Randy stared death in the face, but death blinked,” she said. “Today, God’s proof of a miracle stands before you.”
We all know he’s won multiple Grammy’s and had a huge influence on country music. But here are five highlights of Travis’ life that you may not (but should) know about the country star.
He was a teenage delinquent
Born on May 4, 1959, in Marshville, NC, Travis was not a goody-two-shoes. His mother, Bobbie Tucker, worked in a textile factory and his father, Harold Traywick, was a horse breeder, turkey farmer, a substitute school teacher, and a construction business owner.
Traywick was a big fan of country music. He told Travis he was going to learn guitar, so Travis did. He also sang in the church choir, but he was anything but a “good church boy.” The local police saw him as a misfit, an outlaw. He found himself arrested for things like auto theft and burglary.
Picking his life up from the floor
Travis also found himself apologizing frequently because of his mishaps and missteps. But finally, in 1978, he picked himself from the proverbial floor of his life and released his self-titled album, “Randy Traywick” (he hadn’t taken the last name of Travis at that point).
Shortly after that, he got friendly with his manager, Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher, who he would later marry. In the early 80s, he got turned down by nearly every major country label. Then finally, he got signed by Warner Bros. Records, and his career took off.
His big break
With Warner Bros., he released “Storms of Life,” the record that was his big break. It sold over four million copies. He then put out his hit singles, “No Place Like Home,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” and “Forever and Ever, Amen.” In 1988 and ’89, he won the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
The not-so-good times
Unfortunately, Travis and Hatcher divorced after 19 years of marriage. Over the next couple of years, he ran into the law again. Police arrested him twice in 2012 for alcohol-related crimes; one time, police found him drunk, naked, and asking a cashier at a Tiger Mart for cigarettes.
Then in 2013, he suffered his stroke. Only after many months did he start to show improvement.
His most recent album
The last album Travis released was “Influence: Vol. 1,” a collection of Travis recordings of songs that impacted his music and life. Check out the official trailer for the album below.