FILE - This April 18, 2010 file photo shows singer Randy Travis at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Travis suffered a stroke in 2013 and is now releasing a memoir and appeared on the "Today" show on NBC.

FILE - This April 18, 2010 file photo shows singer Randy Travis at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Travis suffered a stroke in 2013 and is now releasing a memoir and appeared on the "Today" show on NBC.

Dan Steinberg/AP
A smiling Randy Travis joined the Today show on NBC on Monday morning in a rare interview. The country singer took questions about his six-year struggle in the aftermath of a stroke and brain surgery, but his wife, Mary Davis Travis, answered most of them. 

In 2013, doctors thought Travis might never walk or talk again. And he had to re-learn how to do both, Jenna Bush Hager reported in the Today segment. She also reported that doctors said he had less than a 1 percent chance of survival.

"Yeah" and "yup" were two of the few words Travis said in the TV interview, but Hager told her fellow anchors that he understood all the questions she asked him. 

"He hasn't forgotten anything, but the world will never forget him, either," Mary said. Mary and Randy were married in 2015; they were engaged when Randy fell ill.

Amazing: 3 years after stroke, country legend Randy Travis sings 'Amazing Grace'

Hager mentioned Randy's many accomplishments — seven Grammy awards, 25 million albums sold, and countless songs that country fans in Texas and beyond learned by heart. She also mentioned his trouble with alcohol abuse and the 2012 incident where he was arrested, naked, for DUI near Dallas.

It was impossible to forget, but Mary took up for him: "He's always owned up to his shortcomings and failures," Mary said on Today.

The two appeared on the Today show in part to mention the debut of Randy's new book, Forever and Ever, Amen: A memoir of music, faith and braving the storms of life, which goes on sale Tuesday, May 14.

One of the last times the public might have heard from Randy was when he sang "Amazing Grace" at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. It wasn't the singing voice Randy was known for, but it was a near-miracle to hear him sing at all.

In the Today interview, Hager asked Randy a simple question that brought a twinkle to his eyes: "Did you always love music?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said.

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