Country Legend Mel Tillis Dies at 85

Country music legend dead: Mel Tillis dies at 85 following health battle
Country Music Legend Mel Tillis Passes | Absolute Publicity
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20 November, 2017

The late Mel Tillis, who passed away early Sunday morning (Nov. 19), had an indelible effect on country music - and one modern country star in particular.

Tillis, a father of six who endeared fans with his stammer and self-deprecating charm, recorded more than 60 albums, scored 35 top 10 singles, and saw 600 of his songs recorded by major artists during a career spanning six decades.

Tillis was born in Tampa on August 8, 1932, according to his biography on the Country Music Hall of Fame website.

Tillis, 85, died at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla.

The singer-songwriter's publicist Don Murry Grubbs confirmed the tragic news, with his suspected cause of death believed to be respiratory failure. He had six No. 1 singles and more than 30 top 10 hits and was named the Country Music Association's entertainer of the year in 1976.

Tillis appeared on several television shows, including "Hee Haw" and "Hollywood Squares". "It's been a long, hard road". Tillis has six children. He dropped out of the University of Florida and instead served in the Air Force and worked on the railroad before relocating to Nashville in 1957.

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Tillis got his musical start in the 1950s performing with an Air Force band while stationed in Okinawa. "Exhausted of living this ol' way".

Shortly after leaving the Air Force in 1956, Tillis wrote I'm exhausted, which became a No. 3 hit for Webb Pierce and helped launch Tillis' career.

Price, Skaggs, Brenda Lee and hundreds of others would cover his songs.

Country singers are responding with their own sentiments.

"I was so bashful and scared", he said in 2002 of his hesitancy about speaking in public, "and she said, 'If they laugh they'll be laughing with you, not against you'".

The Tillis family asks for your prayers and will soon release more information regarding funeral services in Florida and Nashville.


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