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Country music star Randy Travis out of surgery after stroke

Singer Randy Travis arrives at the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada in this April 18, 2010 file photo. REUTE
Singer Randy Travis arrives at the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada in this April 18, 2010 file photo. REUTE

By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - Grammy award-winning country music singer Randy Travis is out of emergency surgery but still in critical condition after suffering a stroke in a Texas hospital, representatives for the singer and the medical facility said late on Wednesday.

The procedure was intended to relieve pressure on the brain of the 54-year-old Travis, who was hospitalized on Sunday for a heart condition caused by a virus, Baylor Health Care System said in a statement on its website.

"He is out of surgery and remains in critical condition," the singer's spokesman Kirt Webster said in an email.

Webster had earlier said the singer's family and friends were with him at the Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, located north of Dallas, and that they requested the prayers and support of his fans. The representative said Travis' stroke was a "complication of his congestive heart failure."

Webster did not specify what type of stroke the 54-year-old singer had suffered.

The announcement of the stroke came just hours after doctors spoke publicly for the first time about his condition, saying the singer had been responding to treatment three days after being hospitalized for his heart condition.

Travis was suffering from cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure when he was admitted on Sunday, his doctors said.

Cardiomyopathy weakens and enlarges the heart, making it difficult for the organ to pump, and can lead to heart failure.

His publicist had said on Tuesday that Travis had undergone a procedure to place a device in his heart to help it pump on its own.

A six-time Grammy award winner known for hits such as "Forever and Ever, Amen" and "Three Wooden Crosses," Travis has received an outpouring of well wishes from country music stars and his fans.

The singer, who lives in Tioga about 60 miles north of Dallas, was in excellent health until three weeks ago when he developed a viral upper respiratory illness, one of his doctors said.

Legal troubles have put Travis in the spotlight in the past year. He was arrested after Texas state troopers found him lying naked in the road near his crashed car almost a year ago. He pleaded guilty to drunken driving and was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to serve 30 days at an in-patient alcohol treatment facility.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan in New York and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Will Dunham and Lisa Shumaker)

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