DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Singer/songwriter Randy Travis has been hospitalized and is in critical condition according to his public relations representative.
The 54-year-old country music star was suffering from complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscles caused by a viral infection, and was immediately admitted to an undisclosed hospital.
It’s unclear what caused Travis’ condition.
Before Travis fell upon somewhat hard times, or bad luck, he was well-known for his many contributions to country music. Some music insiders, like Mark “Hawkeye” Louis of DFW radio station, 96.3 KSCS still hold him in high regard.
“People forget how Randy Travis saved country music. That is a pretty bold statement. But I, like others in this business, honestly believe Randy Travis saved this genre of music,” said Louis.
Louis credits Travis’ debut album “Storms of Life,” released ’86, for “awakening listeners who had been lulled asleep with a something called ‘Countrypolitan.’
The country singer’s heartfelt sound was something that people hadn’t heard in years, according to Louis. “We had to forget the roots and soul of this genre and Randy brought us back. It wasn’t some grand plan — some calculated risk. It was Randy singing the only way he knew how. And we loved him for it.”
Some of Travis’ biggest hits to date include “Forever and Ever Amen,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” and “Three Wooden Crosses.”
In February 2012, Travis was charged with public intoxication after being found in a vehicle parked in front of the First Baptist Church of Sanger.
Travis was also arrested in August 2012 after a Department of Public Safety trooper found him naked in the middle of the road after crashing his Trans Am near Tioga. In that case Travis agreed to a plea deal and was given two years of probation, sentenced to 100 hour of community service, fined $2,000, and ordered to spend 30 days in an inpatient alcohol treatment facility.
Travis was scheduled to perform in Deadwood, South Dakota on Wednesday.
This is a developing story
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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