It wasn’t much — only one shaky word — but it was enough to earn Randy Travis a standing ovation at the Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday night.
“Amen,” Travis sang, closing out a medley of his 1987 hit, “Forever and Ever, Amen.”
Travis, a North Texas resident who has rarely spoken in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, was being honored for his recent induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
This summer, he made an appearance at a police fundraiser at Billy Bob’s Texas, but didn’t speak.
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But last month, he stunned a crowd in Nashville when he sang “Amazing Grace” during an induction ceremony at the hall of fame.
On Wednesday, he took the stage at the start of the awards show, standing between Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. The two hosts began to lead a medley of “Forever and Ever, Amen,” which was a No. 1 hit for Travis nearly 30 years ago.
Then, at the end, Underwood turned to Travis: “Ladies and gentlemen,” she said, “the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Randy Travis.”
Here’s a longer version of the performance, which shows the long line of country stars who joined Travis for the moment:
On another local note, Arlington native Maren Morris won New Artist of the Year. Here’s her performance: