Carrie Underwood has never hidden her love of Randy Travis and his music. The Oklahoma native recorded one of Travis' many hits, "I Told You So," which Travis sang on with Underwood on her 2007 sophomore Carnival Ride record, and it was Travis who invited Underwood to become a meber of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. So when Travis had his all-star 60th birthday bash at the Opry, Underwood couldn't attend, due to her own Cry Pretty Tour 360 dates, but she sent the Country Music Hall of Fame member a special birthday wish.
"Hey, Randy! Carrie here," Underwood said in the surprise video. "Happy birthday! Happy 60th birthday. You know I absolutely love you. I adore you. As an artist, as a human, you are such an inspiration to me and to so many others. I just hope you have the best birthday ever."
Other celebrities, including the Oak Ridge Boys, former Nashville star Charles Esten, Charlie Worsham, Ricky Skaggs and Josh Turner were all on hand to celebrate Travis' milestone birthday. But perhaps the best moment of the night was seeing Travis, who suffered a massive stroke in 2013 and viral cardiomyopathy, standing by himself on stage.
The stroke forced Travis to relearn how to walk and speak, with ongoing limitations in both areas. Travis chronicles his struggles, including his previous legal trouble as well, in his upcoming memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life.
“I didn’t really feel I had a book to write until I stood on the distant shore and looked back over the ripples my life has made — on myself and on others," Travis said in a statement. "My songs were the stories of my life and I learned from those who listened, they were theirs too — my fans inspired me and continue to do so."
Travis' star-studded birthday celebration ended with all of the stars joining Travis in singing "Forever and Ever, Amen," with Travis singing the final line by himself, receiving thunderous applause.
It's fitting that Underwood paid tribute to Travis, since he previously surprised her by joining her on stage last year to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life will be released on May 14. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
Photo Credit: Instagram/carrieunderwood