Happy Birthday Travis Tritt: Celebrating the Country Icon’s Best Moments

by Emily Morgan

While the past thirty years of country music has not been without its ebbs and flows, but one thing in its history has remained constant: Travis Tritt. 

Like the fellow legend, Alan Jackson, Tritt came from humble beginnings in his small southern hometown in Georgia. 

Growing up, little did he know he would eventually become one of Nashville’s biggest stars. 

However, he didn’t let the fame go to his head. For decades, he’s maintained his blue-collar southern image that keeps his fans loyal.

If you’re not aware, Tritt is a big deal. To start, seven of his nine albums are certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. 

Many of his songs have also charted more than 40 times on the “Hot Country Songs charts,” and he’s had 15 additional top ten singles. 

In celebration of his 58th birthday, we’re looking back on just a few of his many accomplishments. 

Travis Titt Lands First No. 1 

Out of his five No. 1 songs, Tritt received his first No. 1 hit when he released “Help Me Hold On” in February of 1990. Tritt co-wrote the song with a friend, Pat Terry. It came as the second single from his debut album, Country Club. 

The song quickly found success and peaked at no. 1 in both the United States and Canada, becoming Tritt’s first No. 1 hit. At the end of the year, it reached No. 8 on “Billboard Country Songs” and No. 5 on Canada’s “RPM Country Tracks.”

‘The Whiskey Ain’t Workin'”

Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart, long-time pals and county music icons, gave fans a treat when they collaborated on “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’.” Co-penned by both legends, the song appeared on Tritt’s album It’s All About to Change in 1992. 

The song features some of the top studio musicians, such as guitarist Richard Bennett and fiddler Stuart Duncan.

“Over the last few weeks, working on the promotion and video of `Whiskey,’ Marty and I have gotten to talk a lot, and I really like him and I think he likes me,” Tritt said in a 1991 article. “We both are a little left of center of the mainstream. I think we maybe have a chance to become the Waylon & Willie of the `90’s.”

The song would win him his first and only Grammy Award for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals” in 1992. 

The Long-time Bachelor Settles Down

On April 12, 1997, Travis Tritt married Theresa Nelson. Ironically, his friend and colleague, Marty Smith, introduced the two, and the rest was history.  

On February 8, 1995, the country stars were celebrating Tritt’s birthday at a Nashville restaurant, and Tritt couldn’t keep his eyes off Nelson. 

“I saw a sincere sweetness in her that stuck out from all the women I had ever met,” Tritt recalls, and the rest was history. 

Today, Tritt and Nelson have three kids, and as the pair celebrates two-plus decades together, it’s clear that their love is here to stay. 

Travis Tritt’s Acting Career

Besides being an award-winning country artist, Tritt also has had a successful run in Hollywood. He landed his first acting role was in the 1993 made-for-television movie Rio Diablo. Later, in 1994, Tritt made a special appearance as a bull rider in The Cowboy Way.  

He had a role in the 1997 film Fire Down Below, which starred fellow country legend, Kris Kristofferson. In 1999 Tritt appeared in Outlaw Justice with some of country music’s all-star’s, including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. 

Tritt’s Hardwork Culminates With Opry Induction

On February 29, 1992, Tritt would eternalize his success as a county artist when the Opry officially inducted him as a lifetime member. 

“I don’t know why to this day, but Roy Acuff saw something in me that he liked,” Tritt recounts via the Opry’s website. “He came up and put his arm around me backstage and said, ‘Son, we want to see you back here at the Opry more often.'”

“I will cherish my induction into the Grand Ole Opry till the day I die,” Tritt added. “I firmly believe what Porter Wagoner told me the night that I was inducted, and that is, if you treat the Opry as your friend and you take care of the Opry, that the Opry will always be there to take care of you. And I believe that wholeheartedly.”