The family and friends of Mel Tillis were saddened by his sudden death. The Country Music Hall of Famer died on November 19, 2017, at the age of 85. Aside from being a singer and a songwriter, Tillis is also a businessman, a great comedian, a Grand Ole Opry member, and a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee. He died at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida.
Mel Tillis had been sick for quite some time after undergoing surgery in January 2016 due to a serious battle with diverticulitis. The country music artist has been suffering from sepsis and has stayed in the intensive care unit for a month. According to Mel’s publicist Don Murry Grubbs, the singer had never entirely recovered. It is presumed that the cause of the death of Mel Tillis is respiratory failure.
Mel’s daughter, Pam Tillis, who is also a country singer and songwriter, revealed on her Facebook page that she felt very sad about her father’s unexpected and sudden death. She even asked his fans to post their special memories of Mel Tillis on his official Facebook page.
Born on Aug. 8, 1932, Lonnie Melvin Tillis had to work hard at an early age. During his childhood, he suffered from malaria, which resulted in his speech impediment. But later on, he used his stammer for his comedic act on screen and on stage. When he was in high school, he already knew how to play the guitar.
Tillis joined the U.S. Air Force and worked as a baker, and simultaneously, he also sang together with his band, The Westerners. In 1955, he left the Air Force and worked as a fireman. In 1957, he moved to Nashville to focus on his music career. During the same year, he wrote the song “I’m Tired,” which was recorded by Webb Pierce. The song rose to number 3 on the charts. Aside from this, there were several Mel Tillis songs that Pierce recorded, including “No Love Have I,” “I Ain’t Never,” “Holiday for Love,” and many more.
Mel Tillis’ career spanned six decades. Most of his fans are drawn by his humor and genuine warmth. Throughout his career, Mel had written more than 1,000 songs, grabbed 36 top 10 singles, and recorded more than 60 albums. It seems that the death of Mel Tillis was a great loss to the country music industry.