County legend Randy Travis, who memorably suffered a life-threatening stroke three years ago, shocked the crowd during his induction Sunday into the Country Music Hall of Fame when he performed “Amazing Grace.”
The Grammy-winning baritone battled back from the 2013 stroke to sing during the medallion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. 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 honored the three inductees with musical tributes.
But it was Travis’ singing that brought a stunned silence and tears to the crowd after years of rehabilitation and therapy to regain his voice.
Mary Davis-Travis, his wife, spoke about the numerous procedures and surgeries to save his life and a six-month stay in the hospital after a viral infection caused his stroke.
“Randy stared death in the face, but death blinked,” Davis-Travis said. “Today God’s proof of a miracle stands before you.”
The 57-year-old singer was honored for being the first country artist whose debut album “Storms of Life” went platinum in its first year and he ushered in a wave of neo-traditional singers like Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Brooks in the 1990s.
Jackson, who performed “On the Other Hand,” talked about going out on tour with Travis in the early ’90s and compared him to Elvis.
“When he sang, the women were screaming and fainting and it was crazy,” Jackson said. “I loved it. Someone singing real country music and having that effect and selling all those records, it just made me so happy.”
Daniels, the fiddler player behind the hit song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” was honored for his multi-genre style blending Southern rock, bluegrass, gospel and country music.
“A plaque on this wall is not just another award or accolade,” Daniels said. “It’s a page in a history book. An unending history book.”
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SOURCE: FOX News/The Associated Press