Born in North Carolina in 1959, Randy Travis is best known for opening the door to young artists who sought to return to the traditional sound of country music. He was discovered by Elizabeth Hatcher when he was 18 and fought hard to make a name for himself. He found his stride in 1986 with a No. 1 album, Storms of Life. He went on to win a Grammy Award and sell millions of copies of subsequent albums.
As a teenager, Randy dropped out of school and had frequent run ins with the law. On the verge of being sent to prison at 18 years old, Randy met Hatcher, a manager of a nightclub where he performed in Charlotte, North Carolina. Seeing promise in his music, Hatcher convinced a judge to let her become Randy's legal guardian. She spent the next few years grooming Randy, who started to regularly perform at her country clubs.
In 1981, after minor recording success on an independent label, the pair moved to Nashville. After several years of trying to make a name for himself, Randy was signed by Warner Bros. Records in 1985. Now billed as Randy Travis, his first single, "On The Other Hand," reached a disappointing No. 67 on the country music charts. Despite the lackluster debut, Warner Bros. released Travis's second track, "1982," which secured a place in the Top 10. The label decided to re-release "On The Other Hand," which immediately skyrocketed to No. 1 on the country charts. Travis's album, Storms Of Life, secured a place at No. 1 for eight weeks and sold over five million copies.
The LP Always And Forever earned Travis a Grammy Award, as well as the Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year Award. His next three albums— "Old 8 X 10," "No Holdin' Back" and "Heroes And Friends," which included duets with George Jones, Tammy Wynette, B.B. King and Roy Rogers— also sold millions of copies.
In the 1990s, Travis concentrated on an acting career. He won roles in the made-for-TV movies "Dead Man's Revenge" and "Steel Chariots"; and made appearances on some of TV's most popular series, including "Touched By an Angel," "Fraiser" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." Travis landed supporting roles in the feature films "The Rainmaker," "T.N.T." and "The Million Dollar Kid."
Travis's music career continued to thrive with the release of Full Circle, You And You Alone and A Man Ain't Made Out Of Stone.
During his career, Travis unintentionally opened the door for many young artists who sought to return to the traditional sound of country music. Known as a "New Traditionalist," Travis was credited with influencing the future country stars Garth Brooks, Clint Black, and Travis Tritt.
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