Randy Travis has been a staple in country music for over 20 years. It was a long and winding road that led him to his wife, Mary.
The country singer was first married to Elizabeth "Lib" Hatcher, his former manager. The "On the Other Hand" singer had a professional relationship with Hatcher for many years before the couple tied the knot in 1991.
After 19 years of marriage, the couple ended things in 2010. Though Hatcher initially planned on remaining his manager, their business relationship also fizzled out. Travis had known Mary Davis for nearly 30 years, but after the end of his marriage, their relationship changed to romantic.
Strength in Each Other
Their relationship really went through the wringer after getting engaged. In 2013, the country star was admitted to a Texas hospital for an upper respiratory infection. Mere days later, he suffered a massive stroke. He was given a 1% chance of survival, but Travis' bride to be was dutifully by his side the entire time.
"Even in his state, his semi-coma state, he squeezed my hand,'' Davis told Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY about her husband's time on life support. "And he laid there, and I just I saw this tear just fell. And it was, you know, one, two at a time. And I just went back to the doctors, and I said, 'We're fighting this.'''
Travis endured brain surgery and six months in the hospital after coming out of his coma. The near-fatal stroke had damaged his system. With a ton of help from Davis and physical therapy, he learned to speak and walk again. It was such a trying time that Travis wrote a new memoir about his experience, "Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life." The couple was married two years after the stroke in 2015.
The memoir also talks about some of the issues Travis dealt with after the end of his first marriage. The country legend had problems with alcohol abuse and was arrested in 2012 for driving while intoxicated.
"He's always owned up to his shortcomings and failures, but he has always risen above them, too,'' Mary Travis told TODAY. "And he wants the reader to understand that there is mountains and valleys in life."
While it seemed that Travis might not be able to sing again, he pulled through. At his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, he stunned the audience with a beautiful cover of "Amazing Grace." He even made an appearance for his 60th birthday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, where he participated in a group cover of his hit song, "Forever and Ever, Amen."
Mary Travis told ET Canada that the struggles that the couple has endured has only brought them closer.
"You learn to love each other and adore each other in a way that was far beyond what we thought was possible," Mary Travis said. "There wasn't anything that was going to tear us apart. As much as I already loved this man, going through those six months in the hospital it was just an adoration for his fight and a respect for the warrior that was in there."
Travis has seven Grammy Awards, six CMA Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now, it seems that he's found true happiness with his wife, Mary. She's his biggest fan and always champions him and his enduring legacy.
"What I've learned about him is that he hadn't forgotten anything, but the world will never forget him either,'' Mary told TODAY.
This article was originally published in June of 2020.