With over 25 million records sold worldwide, Randy Travis is one of the biggest country stars of all time. He’s won seven Grammy Awards, 11 CMA Awards, and 10 ACM Awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
His wife, Mary, opened up about Randy’s health following a massive stroke in 2013. He was diagnosed with aphasia, which is brain damage that results in the loss of ability to understand or express speech.
Known for his powerful vocals as a singer, Travis now struggles with limited speech. “It means a lot to him,” Mary said about so many country stars are coming together to honor his career. “I mean, just to know that he made the music that he made and that it stands the test of time.” Randy smiled and nodded in agreement as Mary speaks.
“And then to have tributes to you when you can’t sing the music, but somebody else will come in, step in for you, and some of the great artists that do step in, you know, that say, ‘Hey, I want to be one of those that sings your music’ when they have a whole catalog of their own music. But it’s like, ‘I just I want to give this time and this energy to singing your music because it made a difference in my life,’” she continued.
Born in Marshville, North Carolina, in 1959, Travis began singing in church at a young age and learned to play guitar from his father. After graduating from high school, Travis moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in music.
Travis signed his first record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1985. His debut album, “Storms of Life,” was released in 1986 and was a commercial success. The album spawned the hit singles “1982,” “On the Other Hand,” and “Diggin’ Up Bones.”
Travis continued to release successful albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s. His albums “Always and Forever” (1987), “No Defense” (1988), and “Full Circle” (1990) all reached number one on the Billboard country charts. Travis also won numerous awards during this time, including the Grammy Award for Best Country Male Vocal Performance for “Forever and Ever, Amen” in 1988.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 7, 2023
In 2013, Travis suffered a stroke and congestive heart failure. He underwent surgery and extensive rehabilitation during the recovery process.
“Starting when he was 4 or 5 years old, his daddy had him listen to these songs, and he was playing them,” Mary said about his early years. “This is what country music is all about. This is what music’s all about. You know, it comes out the best in all of us. And just the kindness and the gentleness and the heart. It’s all heart. And so that meant a lot to us. And we can’t thank Tim enough just for that moment in time.”
“He’s very faithful,” she said. “We, you know, we leaned hard on God. It’s been 10 years now since the stroke, and that’s hard to believe… There’s really no words for it and there’s not a day that goes by that I just don’t thank God for his grace and his mercy.”
“We want people to understand strokes, stroke rehabilitation, that there is life after stroke,” Mary told Fox News. “We did find that all of the rehab that we went through, life is the best rehab. Just get out there. Go do what you used to do. You know, the world may wonder why you’re out here, but just go out there and, you know, dance like nobody’s watching and sing like nobody’s listening and just have a good time. It truly is the best therapy.”
“And we want people to understand aphasia, because aphasia, it’s a tough one… but one out of three stroke victims – I don’t call them victims. I call them survivors – but it’s one out of three. You’re affected by aphasia. It may be minor. It may be major. Randy’s happens to be major because of this side of the brain and the part of the brain that was affected. And it was a massive stroke because it was three days in detection.”
“Randy may not have been good in English and history and all these other subjects, but dang, where would we be without his music?” she asked. “Where would we be without this music? So we want to make sure that the kids that learn from that side of the brain have every opportunity that academia has.”
Randy Travis is a true country music legend. He has had a long and successful career and has influenced countless other musicians. He is a role model for aspiring country singers and a beloved figure by fans all over the world.