Randy Travis is a country music gem who, despite nearly losing his life in 2013, has made an incredible recovery and gone on to win over even more listeners over the past few years.
While Travis is alive with his dedicated wife by his side, the journey has not been an easy one, and it’s taken a lot of grit and determination for the famed country singer to find his voice again.
The serious issues started on July 5, 2013, when Travis went to the hospital for congestion, only to find that his lungs were filled with fluid.
He fell into a coma, and during that time, experienced a stroke that has set him back ever since.
After doctors warned his then-fiancée, Mary, that surgery would be his only (and very slim) chance at survival, she opted to go for it.
“At this point, the 1 to 2 percent chance is 100 percent chance over zero,” she told The Tennessean in 2017.
“I prayed hard, ‘God, please let me have him back, any way, shape or form.'”
And he lived — but it has taken years for him to regain any of his former mobility, which is incredibly difficult for the once-productive musician, who has described himself as “damaged.”
“I think our goal for five years is to remain hopeful and keep our heads up high and not throw in the towel and be happy with wherever God has us,” Mary added. “If it’s back up on that stage singing, hallelujah.”
“There is a perfectionist in him that knows he’s not singing exactly like he used to that keeps him from enjoying it like I wish he would,” she continued.
“I know the world, when they hear him, they can tell it’s Randy Travis, and the more he does it, the better it’s going to get.”
While he no longer graces audiences with long performances, he’s made sure to highlight his talent occasionally when the situation calls for it, such as when he sang “Amazing Grace” at his 2016 induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In a bid to keep fans happy and revive many of the hits he’s performed over the years, Travis teamed up with James Dupré, and the two were set to start off on a tour this fall, running from Oct. 16 through Nov. 2.
This is the first real tour Travis has had since his health scare in 2013.
“A special evening celebrating the career and music of Hall of Fame Singer Randy Travis with special guest vocalist James Dupre and the Randy Travis Band,” the event page for the show in Gulfport, Mississippi, reads on Facebook. “Featuring a special guest appearance by Randy Travis.”
The idea was to to have Dupré do most of the vocal work, though Travis would attend as well and occasionally do some singing too.
Recently, however, many of the dates for these shows were canceled.
A representative for Travis told Billboard the cancellations were due to “production and content issues,” as the outlet put it. Only three of the original shows still remain.
Those three shows are the Oct. 17 show in Evansville, Indiana; the Oct. 19 show in Gulfport; and the Oct. 28 show in Nashville.
While these changes are disappointing for many fans who were looking forward to seeing Travis in person, Billboard reported that Travis hopes to add more stops during a future tour.
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