Randy Travis in critical condition with virus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country music singer Randy Travis was in critical condition Monday night at a Texas hospital, a day after he was hospitalized for heart problems.

A news release from the singer’s publicist says the 54-year-old Travis was admitted to the hospital Sunday in Dallas and was in critical condition Monday evening.

Travis was being treated for viral cardiomyopathy, a heart condition caused by a virus, according to his publicist, Kirt Webster.

The Mayo Clinic website says the disease weakens and enlarges the heart muscle, making it harder for the heart to pump blood and carry it to the rest of the body. It can lead to heart failure. Treatments range from medications and surgically implanted devices to heart transplants.

The illness is a continuation of a tough run for Travis after a handful of recent high-profile appearances, including a performance during the Country Music Association Festival’s nightly concert series and George Jones’ funeral.

Long a popular figure in country music, the North Carolina-born singer has been trying to put his life back together after a series of embarrassing public incidents involving alcohol.

Travis pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in January following his arrest last year when he was found naked after crashing his Pontiac Trans Am.

Travis was sentenced to two years of probation, fined $2,000 and given a 180-day suspended jail sentence. He was required to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol treatment facility and complete 100 hours of community service.

The multiple Grammy Award-winning singer rode his alternately mellow and majestic voice to stardom in the 1980s and `90s with hits like “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “Three Wooden Crosses.”

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