(31 May 1991 - 29 October 2010) (divorced)
In 1975, while his brother was serving time in jail for a high-speed car chase, Randy won a talent contest at a nightclub, Country City USA, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The club's owner, Elizabeth "Lib" Hatcher, took an interest in the young singer, hired him as a cook, and gave him regular singing jobs at the club. During the late 1970s, Randy worked and sang at Country City USA. Still in his late teens, Travis had one more encounter with the law. At his hearing, the judge told Travis that if he ever saw the singer back in his court, he should be prepared to go to jail for a long time. Travis was released into the guardianship of Hatcher, who also became his manager. The two began to focus on his career full-time.
In 1978, he recorded a self-titled album, Randy Traywick, for Paula Records. The following year, he released two unsuccessful singles, "She's My Woman" and "Dreamin'". Travis moved in with Hatcher, which put further strain on her already fragile marriage. She eventually left her husband and, in 1982, she and Travis moved to Nashville, Tennessee. It was during this time that an unlikely romance began to form between the two. Travis would later comment, "I think we discovered how much we needed each other." He and Hatcher eventually came forward with their relationship and were married in a private ceremony in 1991.
During the early 1980s, Travis was rejected by every major record label in Nashville. His early demo tapes were criticized by record executives as being "too country." To support them, Hatcher took a job as manager of a nightclub, The Nashville Palace, and hired Travis as a cook and singer. In 1982, Travis recorded an independent album Live at the Nashville Palace, and Hatcher used the album to secure a deal with Warner Bros. Records. As part of the contract, label executives insisted they keep their romance a secret, and changed his stage name from Randy Ray to Randy Travis. In 1985, Warner Bros. Records released the single "On the Other Hand" which peaked at No. 67 on the country charts. His next single, "1982", became a Top 10 hit single. In 1986, Warner Bros. re-released "On the Other Hand", which became Travis' first number one hit.
Travis and Lib Hatcher divorced on October 29, 2010 after a 19-year marriage, and their business relationship ended thereafter.
Randy Travis And Wife Divorce
By Dahvi Shira
Friday October 29, 2010
One of country music`s longest-lasting couples have called it quits.
After 19 years, Randy Travis, 51, and his manager/wife Elizabeth "Lib" Travis have ended their marriage."The divorce was finalized as of this morning," spokesperson Maureen O`Connor confirmed to PEOPLE on Friday.
The couple filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Santa Fe, NM. The court papers say a "state of incompatibility exists between the two parties," the Associated Press reports.
In a statement, the rep says, "Elizabeth and Randy Travis have agreed to part ways. Elizabeth will remain Mr. Travis` personal manager. They do not intend to comment any further and ask for your respect for their privacy during this time."
The pair married in secret in 1991 after dating for more than a decade.
Elizabeth has been credited with turning around both Randy`s life and career.
She saved him from a five-year prison stint for breaking into a convenience store. Convincing the judge to release him into her custody, Randy lived with Elizabeth and her then-husband.
Already unhappy in her former marriage at the time, Elizabeth has said, "Randy might have given me the courage to leave a bad situation, but Randy did not break up the marriage."
Elizabeth further guided Randy`s career, with Randy once saying, "She is energetic, witty, intelligent – and very kindhearted."