Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85 http://www.tennessean.com/story/ent...llis-dead-country-music-hall-famer/852933001/ Country Music Hall of Famer, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and Grand Ole Opry member Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla., according to his publicist Don Murry Grubbs. Tillis had been ill for some time. In January 2016 he underwent surgery after a serious bout of diverticulitis. He battled sepsis and spent the better part of a month in the intensive care unit. According to Grubbs, he never fully recovered. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure. A post on daughter and country singer-songwriter Pam Tillis' Facebook page said she was deeply saddened by her father's sudden and unexpected death, and asked fans to post their memories on Mel Tillis' official Facebook page. The singer, songwriter, comedian and businessman, whose genuine warmth and down-home humor drew countless fans, was 85 years old. In his six-decade career, he recorded over 60 albums, notched three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote over 1,000 songs, several of which are now regarded as classics. ------------------------------------ Always a fan of his. Grew up watching his Whataburger commercials, seeing him in movies (Every Which Way But Loose, Smokey and the Bandit II, Cannonball Run I and II, etc.), watching his comedy bits on TV, listening to songs he wrote and songs he sung, and even seeing him in concert at the Arizona State Fair. Loved how he took his stuttering and embraced it and used it throughout his career. That's something which likely would have kept most people from being so successful in the eyes of the public.