Randy Travis hospitalized in critical condition

Country singer Randy Travis remains in critical condition in a Texas hospital after being admitted for complications from a recently acquired viral heart infection.

The 54-year-old Travis, a legend of country music who branched into film and television, was hospitalized Sunday in Dallas suffering from viral cardiomyopathy, representatives for the musician said Monday.

Viral cardiomyopathy is an infection of the heart muscle most often caused by the Coxsackie B virus, said Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn.

Symptoms typically include fever, headache, sore throat and stomach problems, as well as chest and muscle pain. The infection can damage heart cells or cause the heart to go into abnormal rhythms, Thompson said.

Many people who are infected don’t even know it, but in some victims, the infection can be serious, causing permanent damage or death.

Viral cardiomyopathy is often seen in young people, including military recruits who live in close quarters, where they can easily transmit the virus. It is a frequent cause of sudden death during exercise, Thompson said.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Seth Wenig

    Randy Travis

    Randy Travis

    The singer is a country music legend who has extended his reach to film and television.

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    Country superstar -

    Country singer Randy Travis, photographed in the 1990s, has sold more than 20 million records in a career that has also seen him win seven Grammy Awards and 10 Academy of Country Music Awards.

    Travis, 54, was hospitalized in Texas on July 7, 2013, suffering from complications of viral cardiomyopathy.

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    A unique duet -

    Travis performs with former opera singer Beverly Sills, who was singing for the first time in 10 years, during the taping of a talk show pilot in New York on Aug. 13, 1988.

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    More hardware -

    Travis holds two awards he picked up at the 1990 American Music Awards.

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    Honoring a legend -

    George Jones, right, accepts his Country Music Hall of Fame award from Travis during the Country Music Association Awards show in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 30, 1992.

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    Pickin' and grinnin' -

    Travis, center, joins Andy Griffith and Brynn Thayer on an episode of "Matlock" in 1993.

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    Tough guys -

    Travis, left, stars with Patrick Swayze and Meat Loaf in the 1998 movie "Black Dog," about an ex-con manipulated into transporting illegal arms.

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    Doing his 'Part' -

    Travis sings ''I Did my Part'' while a crew for the TV show ''Promised Land'' films in the background on April 19, 1998. Travis sang as part of the third anniversary memorial observance of the Oklahoma City bombing.

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    Amigos -

    Travis, left, and Dylan McDermott, center, star in the 2001 film "Texas Rangers." The Western drama is about a group of Rangers in post-Civil War America.

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    Star power -

    Travis is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his successful singing and acting career on Sept. 29, 2004.

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    Standing by her man -

    Travis and his wife Lib Hatcher attend the ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Calif., on Sept. 29, 2004. The couple split in 2010 after 19 years of marriage.

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    One of many -

    Travis poses backstage after winning the Grammy for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2004.

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    One 'Idol' to another -

    Travis performs with fellow country star Carrie Underwood during the live elimination show on "American Idol" in Los Angeles on March 18, 2009.

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    Getting 'Around' -

    Travis poses for a picture in New York in 2008 for the release of his new album, "Around the Bend."

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    At home in Nashville -

    Travis performs during the 4th Annual ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 20, 2010.

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    On the stump -

    Former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, left, her husband Marcus Bachmann and some of their children watch Travis perform in her tent outside the Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 13, 2011.

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    Smiling through it all -

    Travis performs during "CMT Crossroads: The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis" at The Factory, Liberty Hall in Franklin, Tenn., on Oct. 24, 2012.

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    Trouble with the law -

    Travis is seen in a police booking photo in Sherman, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2012. The singer was charged with misdemeanor DWI and felony retaliation after he was involved in a one vehicle accident. He was later released on bond.

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    Saying farewell -

    Travis performs during the funeral for country music star George Jones in the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., on May 2, 2013.

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    Stamp of approval -

    Travis, John Carter Cash and Carlene Carter attend the Johnny Cash limited-edition forever stamp launch at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on June 5, 2013.

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The "Forever and Ever, Amen" crooner has sold more than 20 million records over the course of his career, and has won seven Grammys, 10 Academy of Country Music awards, five Country Music Association awards and more. Travis has also appeared in television shows and movies, including multiple episodes of "Touched by an Angel" in the role of Wayne and Jed Winslow, and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."

Best known for his hits "Three Wooden Crosses" and "Diggin' Up Bones," Travis made headlines last year after Texas State Troopers found the singer lying naked near his crashed car and his booking photo showed his face covered in cuts and bruises.

He pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to serve at least 30 days at an in-patient alcohol treatment facility.

Additional reporting by NBC'sJoNel Aleccia and Reuters.

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