The Real Reason Randy Travis Dropped Out Of High School

Discovered by his now ex-wife Elizabeth Hatcher when he was 18 yearsold (via The Sun), Randy Travis quickly became one of America's country greats. After winning a talent show at the nightclub Hatcher owned in Charlotte, North Carolina (via Rolling Stone), she took Travis under her wing and became his manager.

Going by the stage name Randy Ray, Travis spent years trying to get a record deal in Nashville to no avail. Eventually, he self-released a live EP which he later re-recorded when Warner Bros. finally signed him to their label in 1986. His first number one hit came soon after, in the form of "On the Other Hand" on his debut album "Storms of Life" (via The Boot).

Travis would become a regular hitmaker on the Billboard charts, with 16 number one hits to his name. The country star's success proved just how far he'd come — especially considering he was a high school dropout with a pretty hefty criminal record before that chance encounter with Hatcher.

Randy Travis' ex-wife Elizabeth Hutcher saved him from spending time in prison

Despite having a keen interest in music as a child (via Biography), Randy Travis did a fair amount of experimentation with drugs and alcohol during his high school years. It got to the point where he became so estranged from his family and school life that he dropped out of education altogether in the ninth grade, as noted on his official website.

Travis soon fell on the wrong side of the law. By the time he was 17, he'd already been arrested numerous times and was being threatened by a judge that if he didn't clean his act up soon, he would be sentenced to five years in prison (via Rolling Stone).

And that's when Elizabeth Hatcher came in. Instead of jail time, Travis was released into Hatcher's custody. She soon became a manager to Travis and made sure he kept on the right side of the law while building his confidence — and talents — as a rising country musician. After doing shifts in the kitchen and as musician at the Nashville Palace, which Hatcher managed, Travis soon found himself appearing on The Nashville Network cable channel which would eventually lead to his first record deal (via Opera News).