It takes a major icon of country music to get this many celebrities in one room.
Garth Brooks, Scotty McCreery, Wynonna, Chris Young, Kenny Rogers and more were on hand to sing Randy Travis’ biggest hits in his honor during a star-studded show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Feb. 8.
Nearly three dozen stars took the stage during the show, which ran for nearly four hours. Randy and his wife, Mary, sat on the side of the stage for the entire show as Garth Brooks serenaded the crowd with “Forever and Ever, Amen,” Scotty McCreery sang “1982,” Wynonna delivered her take on “On the Other Hand,” and Tanya Tucker gave a stirring rendition of Randy’s big hit, “I Told You So.”
Rare Country spoke with Randy and Mary before the show, and they were touched by all the superstars who showed up to sing in Randy’s honor.
“It’s very heartwarming,” Mary said. “Even the ones that couldn’t be here because they had prior engagements or they were on tour, they sent the kindest messages and notes to let us know how much they wish they could be here.”
She added, “We have a beautiful collection of artists tonight. I’d say from 40 to 50 years of music that are here to pay tribute to Randy just to say how much they love him.”
At the end of the night, Randy and all of the artists joined together to close out the show with a performance of “Amazing Grace” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
You’ll recall “Amazing Grace” is the song Randy sang at his Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony last year, which was the first time he’d sung in public following the health battle that nearly took his life.
Randy has made great strides in recovering from the massive stroke and heart condition that nearly took his life in 2013. He’s truly a walking miracle since doctors only gave him a 1 percent chance of survival during his first round of surgeries.
Now, it’s time for Randy and Mary to give back. They’ve established The Randy Travis Foundation, and proceeds from the tribute concert will benefit that cause to help others who are going through what Randy went through.
Mary told us, “What hit Randy first was a virus of the heart, viral cardiomyopathy. It was misdiagnosed for the first 48, 72 hours, which was a critical 48 hours. What the Randy Travis Foundation is hoping to do is to somehow encourage early detection of viral cardiomyopathy. That’s what led to the stroke. It was a massive stroke, and he was in a coma. They weren’t able to detect it early enough to give him the meds and do the things that they can go in and do now to remove clots before they do too much damage.”
The Randy Travis Foundation also benefits rehabilitation research for stroke victims.
Mary explained, “Everybody’s different. Every stroke is different. Everybody responds differently to different forms of rehabilitation. [We’re hoping to open] the doors for new types of rehabilitation that haven’t been out there and haven’t been offered so far.”
Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson, Michael Ray, Josh Turner and William Michael Morgan were among the other stars performing Randy Travis songs at the tribute show.