Nashville, Tenn. (November 23, 2017) — Funeral arrangements have been announced for the late Mel Tillis who passed away early Sunday morning.

Visitation for Tillis will be held onMonday, November 27 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Sykes Funeral Home (424 Franklin St.) in Clarksville, Tennessee. A public funeral service will begin promptly at 3 PM at Mount Hermon Baptist Church (2204 Jarrell Ridge Rd.) with a private burial will follow.

A preceding service will take place at the Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church in Silver Springs, Florida this Saturday, November 25 at 3:00 PM.

Out of respect for the family, attendees are asked to refrain from photographing, filming, or live streaming either service.

Additionally, the Tillis family is planning a January public memorial service open to fans and the music industry. The event will be held in Nashville with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Following a lengthy struggle to regain his health, country music legend Mel Tillis passed away Sunday at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. Tillis battled intestinal issues since early 2016 and never fully recovered. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure. Tillis was 85.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born in Tampa, Florida on August 8, 1932. Throughout his 60+ year career, the Grand Ole Opry member recorded more than 60 albums, had 35 Top Ten singles, six #1 hits (“I Ain’t Never,” “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “Southern Rains,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Heart Healer,” and “I Believe In You”), was named CMA (Country Music Association) Entertainer of the Year in 1976, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame the same year. Tillis was elected a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He wrote over 1,000 songs, 600 of which have been recorded by major artists including Kenny Rogers (“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”), George Strait (“Thoughts Of A Fool”), and Ricky Skaggs (“Honey, Open That Door”). Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) named Tillis Songwriter of the Decade for two decades. In February of 2012 President Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts.

Additional articles:

Country Music Artists React to Passing of Legendary Mel Tillis


Country Music Legend Mel Tillis Passes


Nashville, Tenn. (November 21, 2017) — Following the news of the passing of legendary Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis, his family, friends and colleagues are paying homage to the late singer-songwriter.
“The world lost a comedy and music legend and we lost our father… he was loved by all and we miss him terribly already.” –Pam Tillis
“One of the great entertainers in our business has gone on to his next assignment. It won’t be entertaining! It’ll be total rest, peace and love. Jesus is the star!!! Thank you Mel for playing a big part in my journey. Always loved being with you. You will be missed here.”
Ricky Skaggs
“M-M-Melvin was m-m-my fr-fr-pal and I will m-m-m-miss him.” –Larry Gatlin
“What a great talent and a wonderful friend. We’ll m-m-miss you Mel.”
Ray Stevens
“Mel was a character on-stage and off, an incredible writer, and never without a smile and a new joke. I’ll cherish our friendship and the times we spent working numerous shows together over the past 40 years. Mel was a one of a kind entertainer who loved performing for his fans. May all the Tillis’ find comfort in knowing their father was loved by everyone, on both sides of the stage.”
John Anderson  
“I’ve been a Tillis fan since I was a boy.  Country music has lost a great American icon for sure. We’re going to miss old Melvin.” –Sammy Kershaw
“Once again, our country music family is grieving with great sorrow. I was very sad to hear of the passing of Mel Tillis. My respects and deepest condolences to his family.”
Marty Raybon / Shenandoah
“I’m going to miss Mel Tillis with all my heart because I love to laugh. He always made me laugh and I loved him. He was just one of a kind and that’s what we will all miss so much.”
Darryl Worley
“My favorite thing about Mel was his ability to make fun of himself. You were always guaranteed a laugh while in his presence. One of the greatest songwriters and entertainers of all time. He will be missed.” –Kelly Lang
“The legacy of Mel Tillis is one of exceptional talent, overflowing kindness, generosity of spirit, and a unique brand of self-deprecating humor. His passing leaves another gaping hole in the landscape of country music. Thank you, Mel, for teaching us to take everything that life hands us with gratitude and a smile. You will be deeply missed. Prayers of peace and comfort to Pam and the entire Tillis family and organization.” –Dave Innis / Restless Heart
“One of the last of the great personalities and entertainers. A great loss to the Nashville music community. We will miss a man who always made the world smile.”
Larry Stewart / Restless Heart
“Sending my deepest sympathies to all of Mr. Mel’s family and friends. I’ll tell you a story which I know he would love. When our band was looking for our very first tour bus, Mr. Tillis was selling  one of his buses and he showed up to meet us to negotiate the price. We told him it was going to be too much for our budget and Mel, sharp as a tack, quickly replied, ‘Well. Then, I guess you don’t have a bus.’ He then proceeded to walk us to the door and in his own style of love wished us good luck. Rest in peace, my friend.” –Doug Gray / The Marshall Tucker Band


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