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undergroundnewsroom.com December 16, 2017


Musicians React to Mel Tillis' Death

20 November 2017, 02:21 | Ruben Stone

Country Music Legend Mel Tillis Passes | Absolute Publicity

Country music legend dead: Mel Tillis dies at 85 following health battle

Country legend Lonnie Melvin ("Mel") Tillis died this morning in Ocala, Florida, Entertainment Weekly reports.

According to the Tennessean, Tillis died early Sunday morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla. after nearly two years of ill health stemming from a bout of diverticulitis, for which he received surgery.

The singer-songwriter's publicist Don Murry Grubbs confirmed the tragic news, with his suspected cause of death believed to be respiratory failure. Over the course of his long career, he wrote more than 1,000 songs, recorded more than 60 albums, had almost three dozen top-10 singles, and pegged six No. 1 hits, including "Coca-Cola Cowboy", "I Ain't Never", and "I Believe in You".

Country music stars Charlie Daniels, Crystal Gayle and Blake Shelton offered their condolences on Twitter.

He penned the song Coca-Cola Cowboy for the Clint Eastwood movie Every Which Way but Loose back in 1979.

Additionally, Tillis had other hits such as Stateside, I Got the Hoss, Send Me Down to Tucson, Neon Rose, Sawmill and Midnight, Me and the Blues. President Barack Obama bestowed the National Medal of Arts award upon Tillis in 2012.

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In 2007, Tillis became a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry country music show. He also briefly co-hosted an ABC prime-time series, "Mel and Susan Together", with supermodel Susan Anton in 1978.

Tillis moved to Nashville from Plant City, Florida after serving in the U.S. Air Force as a baker. Feeling down one day he began singing to himself, "Oh Lord, I'm exhausted".

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

Tillis was also an actor, and appeared in several feature films.

He said that when he was in the Air Force as a flight leader, he marched airmen right into a wall.

The Tillis family said they plan to announce funeral arrangements for Nashville and Florida soon.



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