What was your favorite moment at last night’s Academy of Country Music Awards?
Many will probably say it was when “Mama Swift” gave her heartfelt tribute to her daughter Taylor Swift when she was honored with the Milestone Award. Andrea Swift was recently diagnosed with cancer.
However, die-hard country fans will probably say it was when Lee Brice played a verse of Randy Travis‘s hit “Forever and Ever, Amen,” then shocked the audience by introducing the country music legend:
“That classic tune won song of the year in 1985 and the man who sang it has made an amazing comeback to be with us tonight. Ladies and Gentlemen, the great Randy Travis.”
As you may recall, country singing icon Randy Travis, 55, was hospitalized in July 2013 for viral cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle following a viral infection. Travis took a turn for the worse, and had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) (not unlike Dick Cheney) placed to stabilize him for transfer to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano for more specialized care.
While there, the seven time Grammy winner suffered a stroke which required surgery to relieve increased pressure on this brain. Eventually he was released from the hospital and transferred to a rehabilitation facility. He went home from that facility in October. He has rarely been seen since that time.
Upon seeing Travis, the audience erupted into a sustained round of applause. Travis quietly stood, acknowledging the crowd with a nod and a wave.
Late last night, Travis posted a letter to his fans on his website:
“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.”
He went on to thank them for their support, saying that his fiancee Mary read to him “each and every” letter he had received. He went on to say:
” The power of music remains a source of inspiration and healing for me. Writing songs was always a passion of mine and I still have a lot to share with you. 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…. As I work through music/speech/occupational/physical therapy, it is my hope that my songs of yesterday continue to touch your life in some way.”