Mel Tillis dies at 85

Photo: Mel Tills (Courtesy Absolute Publicity)

UPDATE (11/23) -- Funeral services for Tillis will be on Monday in Clarksville, according to the late singer's publicist. Visitation will be held at Sykes Funeral Home,424 Franklin St., from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. A public funeral service is at 3 p.m. at Mount Hermon Baptist Church, 2204 Jarrell Ridge Rd. A private burial will follow.

The Tillis family is reportedly planning a January public memorial service in Nashville that will be open to fans and the music industry, according to the statement. Details are expected to be announced within a few weeks.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Country music legend Mel Tillis has passed away at a Florida hospital at the age of 85.

Tills battled intestinal issues since 2016 and has been struggling to regain his health since, according to a statement from his publicist. It is suspected that he died of respiratory failure.

The Tillis family asks for your prayers. Friends and fans are paying tribute on social media.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, of which Tillis was a member, released a statement:

"Mel Tillis spent a lifetime giving us joy and laughter and music, which is why his death brings such sadness. Had he never stepped on a stage, he would still have been one of the funniest and most genuine people on the planet. But his whimsy and warmth were only a part of his appeal. He wrote some of country music's most compelling and consequential songs, he fronted a remarkable band, and he sang with power and emotion. He also shone as an inspiration, revealing what others called an impediment as a vehicle for humor and hope."

The Grand Ole Opry member recorded more than 60 albums in his 60-plus year career. He had six #1 songs and 35 top 10 singles.

Funeral services are being planned in Nashville and Florida, where he was born.

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