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

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

Country Music Legend Mel Tillis Passes | Absolute Publicity

Country music legend Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning, according to a statement from his publicist.

He is said to have died from respiratory failure.

His No. 1 songs were I Ain't Never, Good Woman Blues, Heart Healer, I Believe in You, Coca-Cola Cowboy and Southern Rains.

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

Besides being a successful recording artist, Tillis performed at the Grand Ole Opry and made frequent television appearances, as well as playing small roles in movies such as Smokey and the Bandit II and The Cannonball Run. "It's a way of showing people that it hasn't licked me, so it doesn't have to lick others". He was also recognized by President Barack Obama in 2012, receiving the National Medal of Arts for his country music contributions.

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8, 1932, in Tampa, Tillis went on to become a prolific artist and a Country Music Hall of Famer.

Tillis was raised in Pahokee, Florida, and developed his stutter as a child while being treated for malaria.

Tillis moved to Nashville from Plant City, Florida after serving in the U.S. Air Force as a baker.

The heroic American joined the US Air Force to serve in the Korean War and was stationed in Okinawa, where he served the country by cooking and singing on Armed Forces Radio. "Exhausted of living this ol' way".

His career took off in 1956 after Webb Pierce recorded "I'm exhausted", which Tillis wrote.

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

Tillis also appeared in movies with Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood.

"One of the reasons I worked it into my show is that it's my trademark", he once told The Associated Press.

"I couldn't get out the word 'halt, '" he said. His family plans to announce funeral arrangements in Nashville and Florida soon.

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