James Dupré, who appeared in Season 9 of The Voice, will hit the road next month to headline The Music of Randy Travis Tour, performing some of the country music icon's biggest hits, backed by Travis' original band. Travis and his wife, Mary, will also make an appearance at each tour stop.
"The world was stripped of Randy's iconic voice, and I think it's still important for people to be able to go out and hear his music and see him," Dupré said at a media event announcing the tour. "And I'd love to be the one, I'm honored to be the one, to be able to be a part of that."
Dupré grew up listening to Travis, after discovering the Grand Ole Opry member's voice at an early age.
"I remember I was probably seven or eight years old and I remember seeing him on CMT," Dupré recalled. "And I remember asking my mom, 'Who is that man?' Because I was immediately drawn to his voice. And I knew that I wanted to be a singer. I said, 'I want to do what he's doing.' And little did I know I'd be sitting right up here next to him just a few years later."
Dupré got his start by posting videos of him singing other artist's songs, never imagining that it would draw the attention of Travis.
"When I started putting cover videos up on YouTube over 10 years ago, I had a few Randy songs I sang to with the karaoke track," said Dupré. "Had I known that he'd eventually see that, I would have probably dressed better and picked up the clothes off the floor and this and that. No, I'm pinching myself right now. It's a huge honor, and I'm really excited about it."
Travis and Mary are also eager to get in front of the fans again, after being largely away from the spotlight since Travis' stroke in 2013.
"I can't tell you how excited we are to get back on the road again," Mary said. "It's definitely a place Randy felt most at home, is on that road, with his fans. That's what brings me so much joy."
"The road feels like home to Randy, so being on that road is going to be probably more than we can handle," she continued. "Just bringing back the music of Randy Travis, and getting to spend some time with some of the fans that we've seen before, we have grown in love and we've stayed in touch with. Even over the years since the stroke six years ago, they stay in touch with us, so it's going to be so nice to be out there with them again, and let them just put their hands on him and give them a hug and enjoy his music."
The Music of Randy Travis Tour kicks off on Oct. 16 in Indianapolis. Find dates at RandyTravis.com.
Photo Credit: Getty / Terry Wyatt