Randy Travis stuns audience by singing ‘Amazing Grace’ 3 years after stroke

Click to play video: 'Randy Travis offers emotional rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ during Country Music Hall of Fame induction'
Randy Travis offers emotional rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ during Country Music Hall of Fame induction
WATCH: Country singer Randy Travis found his distinctive voice three years after a life-threatening stroke – Oct 17, 2016

Country singer Randy Travis, who suffered a life-threatening stroke in 2013, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Oct. 16, and surprised the crowd by singing for the first time in years.

The Grammy-winning baritone singer battled back from the stroke to sing again during the medallion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., where he was inducted along with fiddler Charlie Daniels and record producer Fred Foster.

Fellow artists including Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks and more honoured the three inductees with musical tributes.

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“Randy Travis was the forefather that kind of laid it down,” Brooks said on Sunday night when inducting the legendary singer into the hall of fame. “Tell me some other artist in some other genre ever in the history of mankind who has taken a format, turned it around back to where it was coming from and made it bigger than it was. It’s never happened, and it will never happen again.”

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Jackson spoke about the 57-year-old singer, saying he “opened the door to a lot of guys and girls who wanted to sing real country music,” and compared him to Elvis Presley. “When he sang, the women were screaming and fainting. And he was singing real country music. When I listen to country music today, I think it’s time for a new Randy Travis to come along.”

Jackson sang Travis’ On the Other Hand, Paisley sang Forever and Ever, Amen, and Brooks sang Three Wooden Crosses.

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Travis can not yet form full sentences, so his wife Mary Davis-Travis spoke on his behalf. “Today is the greatest day of Randy’s celebrated music career. Randy wants to thank you for listening and loving him. Randy stared death in the face, but death blinked. Today, God’s proof of a miracle stands before you,” she said. “Tonight, I want to give back to the voice of Randy Travis. If you’ll stand.”

But it was Travis’ singing that brought a stunned silence to the crowd, even reducing some audience members to tears. Travis endured years of rehabilitation and therapy to regain his voice.

He sang a verse from Amazing Grace, and it was the first time a crowd has heard him sing since his stroke. Doctors did not expect him to recover from the trauma, and he nearly passed away.

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In 2011, when Brooks was told of his impending induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, he highlighted entering it without Travis. Brooks believes a wrong was righted this year. “Today the world is spinning right,” he said before the ceremony. “Never will you have to say ‘Randy Travis isn’t in the Hall of Fame ever again. It’s long overdue and well-deserved. I would not be standing here… I would not be married to Miss Yearwood… I would not be in this town if it weren’t for Randy Travis.”

With files from The Associated Press

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