Country Music Legend Mel Tillis Passes

20 November, 2017, 00:26 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Blake Shelton Shares Touching Memories of the Late Mel Tillis

Country music star Mel Tillis has tragically passed away at the age of 85.

Mel had written over 60 albums and had more than 10 top 10 singles during his 1970s hey day.

Rolling Stone reports that he passed away on Sunday (November 19) after a lengthy illness at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida.

"Tillis battled intestinal issues since early 2016 and never fully recovered", he said. After attending the University of Florida and dropping out, Tillis joined the U.S. Air Force and served in Okinawa, where his interest in music continued to burgeon and he performed on Armed Forces Radio with a country band.

His first big hit as a songwriter was "I'm exhausted", which was recorded that same year by Webb Pierce, who went on to record several more of Tillis's compositions. He was also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee.

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On Sunday morning Tillis' fellow country music stars and fans praised his contributions to the genre and offered condolences on Twitter.

The singer was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in June of 2007 by his daughter, singer and songwriter Pam Tillis. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born in Tampa, Fla. on August 8, 1932. His stutter became a trademark that Tillis mined for laughs, although it disappeared when he sang.

Tillis was a familiar screen presence in the '70s and '80s, with small roles in films including "W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings", "The Villain", "Every Which Way But Loose", "Smokey and the Bandit II", and both "Cannonball Run" movies.

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