Mel Tillis was an American country music singer and songwriter. He recorded songs since the late 1950s, his biggest success occurred in the 1970s as part of the outlaw country movement, with a long list of Top 10 hits. On November 19, 2017, he died of respiratory failure in Ocala, Florida, at the age of 85.
Tillis’ biggest hits include “I Ain’t Never”, “Good Woman Blues”, and “Coca-Cola Cowboy”. On February 13, 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to country music.
He also won the Country Music Association Awards’ most coveted award, Entertainer of the Year. Tillis was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Country Music Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was known for his stutter, which did not affect his singing voice. His daughter Pam Tillis is a 90s country hitmaker.
Mel Tillis Wife
Mel Tillis was married once to his first wife Doris Tillis (m. 1957–1977). He was however survived by his long-term partner Kathy DeMonaco.
Doris Tillis was the wife of Mel Tillis for many years, starting in 1957. She is remembered as the late Country Music Hall of Famer’s creative partner and inspiration, as well as the mother of five of his children, Pam Tillis, Mel Tillis, Jr., Carrie April Tillis, Connie Tillis, Hannah Tillis, and Cindy Tillis. She died back in 2019 at the age of 79, two years after Mel Tillis’ death.
Mel Tillis Cause of Death
Tillis had been unwell since January 2016 with various illnesses. On November 19, 2017, he died of respiratory failure in Ocala, Florida, at the age of 85. His six children include singer-songwriter Pam Tillis and songwriter Mel “Sonny” Tillis, Jr.
The New York Times Magazine listed Mel Tillis among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire on June 25, 2019.