Legendary country music singer, songwriter, and Grand Ole Opry member, Mel Tillis has passed away at the age of 85. The performer died on Sunday morning (November 19) at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. The cause of death has been given as suspected respiratory failure according to The Tennessean.
In early 2016 Tillis underwent surgery after a serious bout of diverticulitis. He later battled sepsis and spent almost a month in the ICU.
Tillis was widely known for his slew of hits including “Detroit City” (Bobby Bare), “I’m Tired” (Webb Pierce), and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” (Kenny Rogers). He also garnered the high honor of CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1976. The singer recorded 60+ albums, wrote over 1,000 songs, and garnered 36 Top 10 singles
His legend didn’t stop with himself. His daughter Pam Tillis has quite the storied career of her own. She has asked fans to post loving memories of her father on the Mel Tillis’ official Facebook page.
Below are some of his accomplishments compiled by The Tennessean.
No. 1 singles
1972: “I Ain’t Never”
1976: “Good Woman Blues,” “Heart Healer”
1978: “I Believe in You”
1979: “Coca Cola Cowboy”
1980: “Southern Rains”
1976: received CMA Entertainer of the Year Award, inducted into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
2007: inducted into Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame
2010: received Academy of Country Music Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award
2012: received National Medal of Arts
Rest in Peace Mel.