After being hospitalized for congestive heart failure earlier this week, country star Randy Travis underwent emergency surgery yesterday to relieve pressure on his brain after suffering a stroke. The 54-year-old singer remains in critical condition after being hospitalized near Dallas with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart.
Travis, who has notched 16 Number One country hits, was a key figure in country music’s neotraidtionalist movement in the Eighties. The six-time Grammy Award winner has also worked as an actor, in movies such as The Rainmaker and on several episodes of the TV series Touched By an Angel. Last year he made headlines after being arrested for driving while intoxicated; in recent months he had been focused on his return to health.
Travis’ publicist said on Tuesday that the singer had undergone a procedure to place a device in his heart to help it pump blood on its own. The singer’s family and friends have requested prayers and well-wishes from fans.