Legendary country music star Mel Tillis passed away at the age of 85 this early morning at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Florida. According to a rep for the singer-songwriter, the cause of death was respiratory failure that followed a long struggle with intestinal issues.
The CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Kyle Young, described him as one of the most genuine and funniest people, adding that the country crooner’s death brings much sadness.
‘Mel Tillis spent an entire lifetime giving us joy and laughter and music, which is why his death brings such sadness. Had he never stepped on a stage, he’d still have been one of the funniest and most genuine people on the planet. But his whimsy and warmth were only a part of the appeal. He wrote some of country music’s most compelling songs, fronted a remarkable band, and sang with power and emotion. He also shined as an inspiration, revealing what others called an impediment as a vehicle for humor and hope,’ the CEO said about the beloved late artist.
Tillis is best known for creating hits like Bobby Bare’s Detroit City and Webb Pierce’s I’m Tired aside from winning CMA’s Entertainer of the Year back in 1976.
His passing is regretted by country music fans and artists alike, including The Voice judge Blake Shelton, who took to social media to share precious memories of the legend.
Rest in Peace, Mel Tillis! You will be missed!