It’s been a while since Randy Travis has appeared in public. Two years ago, the country singer had a serious stroke and has been in recovery ever since. But at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards Sunday night, his fans finally got a chance to see him again. And they greeted him with a standing ovation.
Country star Lee Brice sang one of Travis’ hit songs, “Forever and Ever, Amen,” for the crowd and followed it with a surprise introduction of the legend, who was unexpectedly in the audience, People reported. Randy stood at his seat and nodded appreciation – shocking everyone. Before the awards show aired, there wasn’t a single hint that he would be there, Taste of Country added.
The rare appearance earned him something that surely lifted his spirits – a thunderous standing ovation.
— Michele Spry (@ms_spry) April 20, 2015
But his fiancée, Mary Davis, said Travis wouldn’t have missed the show for the world; “Randy’s history with the ACM awards goes back over two decades.”
That Randy Travis has become a rarity in the public eye lately is understandable. In 2013, the singer, who’s only 55, suffered congestive heart failure and was diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy, E! Online explained. But during surgery, Travis had a serious stroke that required surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
His recovery in the two years following – which has included physical therapy – has been slow. The standing ovation Travis received Sunday night from his fans seemed to leave him awestruck. Randy posted a letter to his fans that very night, expressing his gratitude.
“It was an amazing gift to feel all of the love from you tonight. It has been a hard fought and miraculous journey since my stroke two years ago, and I have gained a greater understanding of God’s grace and how quickly events can change us. Words can never express my gratitude to those who continue to believe in me, pray for me, and keep me lifted up in thought and deed. The power of music remains a source of inspiration and healing for me. It is my prayer that, with continued healing, one day soon, I will be back on that stage exchanging music with my fans…my friends, who with God’s amazing grace, have brought me this far.”
[Photo Courtesy Rick Diamond/Getty Images]