Photo: Webster Public Relations

Randy Travis performs his hit song “Three Wooden Crosses” live at the Grand Ole Opry.

Legendary singer-songwriter Randy Travis has made tremendous progress in the four years since his near-fatal stroke in 2013, displaying huge recovery milestones that moved everyone who witnessed his emotional performance of “Amazing Grace” at the CMT Awards.

In February, he made an appearance at a special concert held in his honor, where big country artists like Garth Brooks covered Travis’ greatest hits and paid tribute to his music and his determination to sing again. The climax of the evening came when Travis led the assembled stars and audience in “Amazing Grace.” With everyone gathered with Travis onstage, the concert concluded with a rousing pass-the-mic-around rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

In celebration of Travis’ awe-inspiring musical career, we decided to look back at the beginning of Travis’ start in the business.

The North Carolina native broke out in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life, establishing him as a major force in traditional country music. Despite early rejections from record labels previous to that for being “too country,” Travis would go on to become a pivotal figure in country music.

Travis started playing guitar and singing in church at the age of 8 and returned to his musical roots in the mid-1990s when he returned to gospel and put out what is arguably his greatest No. 1 hit, “Three Wooden Crosses.”

He dabbled in acting, appearing in numerous films like The Rainmaker and Texas Rangers.

Altogether, Travis has recorded 20 studio albums; charted more than 50 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart; and won six Grammy Awards, six CMA Awards, nine ACM Awards, 10 AMA Awards, eight Dove Awards. He’s also acquired a prestigious star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and most recently, been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

For a look at Travis’ breathtaking talent, watch his performance of “Three Wooden Crosses” live at the Grand Ole Opry.

For more information about Travis and his upcoming appearances, visit the artist’s website.