Randy Travis has endured some dark times on the road to becoming a country music legend, and the hit-making singer-songwriter will share it all in his upcoming memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life.
“A book about my life wasn’t something I thought much about while I was busy living it — now I know the difference between life and living,” Travis, 59, tells PEOPLE via email. (See below for the exclusive cover reveal.)
He continued: “I understand that whatever I have done for myself will pass with me; but, whatever I do for mankind will remain… Forever and Ever, Amen.”
In the book, out May 2019, Travis will delve into his early life in North Carolina, his work as a cook and club singer in Nashville, Tenn., and his rise to fame in 1986 with his hit album Storms of Life. Forever and Ever, Amen will also reveal how — following a successful music career that spanned three decades and won him seven Grammy Awards — his life changed irrevocably in 2009.
Travis will write about his divorce from Lib Hatcher, his wife of 19 years and former manager; his financial problems (“due to dishonest deals made behind his back”); “and his struggles with anger [that] led to alcohol abuse, public embarrassment, and even police arrest in 2012,” according to the book’s press release.
The worst hit in 2013, when the artist suffered a massive stroke that almost killed him. Not only did Travis have to learn how to walk again, his ability to speak was severely impaired. That didn’t stop Travis from singing a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace” when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October 2016.
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“I learned a lot about myself going back through the chronicles of my past,” Travis says. “In my waning years of ability, I have a clearer picture of the past.”
He continues: “It’s an interesting game of patience to sit and wait for the clocks of time to expose so much. As the candle burns, it is time to share the history that made me who I am, tell the back story to some of my songs, give insight to the challenges I faced, and reflect on the blessings through it all.”
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