NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music stars and fans joined together to urge prayers for Randy Travis on Thursday after he underwent brain surgery following a stroke at a Texas hospital.

Travis remained in critical condition Thursday after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain Wednesday night, publicist Kirt Webster said. The 54-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer had been improving while being treated for heart failure caused by a viral infection when he had the stroke.

Nancy Jones, the widow of Travis’ lifelong hero George Jones, paid a visit to Travis on Thursday. Stars including Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum and Martina McBride used Twitter to express their concerns and join Webster’s call for prayers for the singer, a popular and pivotal figure in country music. Hundreds posted messages with the hashtag PrayforRandy.

“We’re all pulling for you Randy,” Brad Paisley said via Twitter.

The setback occurred hours after doctors said Travis was showing signs of improvement since the start of treatment Sunday for congestive heart failure and the insertion of a pump to help his heart increase blood flow.

His doctors said Wednesday in a video statement that his heart problem stemmed from an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus.

Infections, both viral and bacterial, may start elsewhere in the body but sometimes can affect the heart, either because the infection itself spreads or because immune cells that are fighting it enter the heart and cause inflammation.

Lindsay Lohan deal seen as big plus for Oprah

LOS ANGELES – Oprah Winfrey has scored another high-profile coup for OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network: Lindsay Lohan.

The troubled star, who is currently serving her latest rehab stint, will be interviewed by Winfrey in August after Lohan’s release.

Lohan has also been signed for an eight-part documentary series that is slated to air in 2014.

The deal with Lohan, which is sure to generate large ratings for OWN, is the latest in a series of prominent exclusive interviews secured by the former talk show mogul.