The 55-year-old country legend surprised Dolly Parton on May 31 when he made a rare public appearance to attend her show at the WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Okla. – and had a long backstage huddle with her, insiders told The ENQUIRER.
“He told Dolly he feels lucky to be alive and that he wants to go back to doing what he does best – singing,” revealed a close source. “But he’s worried he’s washed up and that country fans have forgotten about him.
“Dolly told Randy, ‘If I had a nickel for every time people counted me out, I could build another Dollywood.’ She promised Randy she would help him out any way she can and even invited him to tour with her.”
As The ENQUIRER recently revealed, the “Diggin’ Up Bones” singer had previously asked Taylor Swift to help jump-start his comeback by performing a duet with him, but she coldly turned him down, said an insider, because she considers him an “old has-been.”
Fortunately, it looks like Randy can count on bighearted Dolly.
“They’ve been friends for nearly 30 years,” noted the close source. “Dolly loves Randy and will do anything to help get him back on his feet.”
Travis was one of country music’s brightest stars in the 1980s, scoring 22 No. 1 hits and six No. 1 albums. But his life took a frightening turn in recent years.
Randy and his wife/manager of 19 years, Lib Hatcher, split in 2010 after she caught him cheating with Mary Davis Beougher, the wife of the family’s dentist. Then, after 20 years of sobriety, he fell off the wagon and was arrested for public drunkenness in February 2012.
Just six months later, he was busted on DUI charges in a bizarre incident in which police found him wandering naked after crashing his car.
And last July, Travis nearly died from complications of congestive heart failure which led to a life-threatening stroke, requiring months of rehab. Now, the seven-time Grammy winner is feeling better and desperately hoping to make up for lost time.
“Randy hasn’t played a show in over a year,” said an insider. “Meanwhile, his medical bills are astronomical. He’s itching to go on tour. In a good year, he can make $4 million on the road.”
But pals fear fragile Randy may take on too much following his life-or-death battle.
“It would be great if Dolly takes him on tour with her,” said the close source. “That way, he could play short sets before she goes on, and he’d be with someone who loves him and will watch out for him.”