Randy Travis Releases Touching New Song With Help of AI

Randy Bruce Traywick, better known as Randy Travis, performs at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo grounds on July, 1987 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. A country and gospel musician, singer, songwriter and an actor, Travis won six Grammy awards prior to a massive stroke in 2013. The image is an in-camera triple exposure
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Randy Travis has been a staple in the country music community for decades. Then tragedy struck in 2013 when he suffered from a massive stroke and had only a two percent chance of survival. He did the impossible and survived the stroke but his brain was affected, particularly the part that controls speech and language. This made talking and singing quite difficult and Travis admitted that sometimes he knows what he wants to say but just can’t.

Randy Travis speaks at a press conference during 1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis at Bridgestone Arena on February 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Outback Concerts

Now, Travis is looking to get back into the world of country with a little help. With the insurgence of artificial intelligence or AI, comes both good and bad. While Travis said that he has heard some very bad AI imaginings of his voice, he wants to reclaim control and use it to his advantage. Cris Lacy, co-chair and co-president of Warner Music Nashville (Travis’ longtime record label) shared, “We started with this concept of, what would AI for good look like for us? And the first thing that came to mind was, we would give Randy Travis his voice back.”

With Travis onboard with the idea, they decided to give it a go despite some skeptics. They took 42 of his tracks from the vault and stripped away the music, leaving only his impressive vocals. Next, they took vocals from country music singer James DuPre and put the vocals on top of each other. Basically, DuPre could sing new vocals but they can make it sound like it comes from Travis. Producer Kyle Lehning admitted that he was very nervous at first but said, “It’s Randy Travis. Randy’s on the other side of the microphone. It’s still his vocal. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to make music, and to deprive him of that, if he still wants to do that, that’s unconscionable to me.”

Randy Travis and Mary Davis attend the Kentucky Derby 150 at Churchill Downs on May 04, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Churchill Downs

While this is all kind of confusing and based on new technology, it could mean amazing things in the future for artists who can no longer perform but still want to. Now, fans can listen to the first brand-new Travis song in a long time, which was created with the help of AI. The song is called “Where That Came From.” While this song turned out great, the label admitted that working on further songs is proving harder than they thought. Even so, for now, we can revel in a new Randy Travis hit that tugs at your heartstrings just like many of his songs do.

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March 2022

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