- Musician’s career spanned six decades.
Country music singer Mel Tillis, whose six-decade career included hits such as “I Ain’t Never” and “Coca Cola Cowboy” and who never let his stutter get in the way of him becoming a legend, died on Sunday, his publicist confirmed. He was 85.
Tillis passed away at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla., his publicist Don Murry Grubbs said. The music legend is believed to have died from respiratory failure after he never recovered from intestinal issues he has been battling since 2016. He leaves behind his longtime partner, Kathy DeMonaco, his six children and six grandchildren.
Tillis recorded more than 60 albums and had 35 top ten singles in his decades-long career. His 1979 “Coca-Cola Cowboy” was one of his biggest hits, along with “Southern Rains” in 1980 and “I Believe in You” in 1978.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Tennessean reported. His daughter, Pam Tillis, who is also a country music singer, inducted him into the Grand Ole Opry in 2007. Her rep released a statement on her official Facebook fanpage saying the death “was sudden and unexpected.”
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