Mel Tillis, a Country Music Hall of Fame artist known for his lifelong struggle with stuttering, died Sunday in Florida at age 85.
Tillis, a father of six who endeared fans with his stammer and self-deprecating charm, recorded more than 60 albums, scored 35 top 10 singles, and saw 600 of his songs recorded by major artists during a career spanning six decades.
Under his own name, he cut six singles that topped the country charts, including "I Ain't Never", "Coca-Cola Cowboy" and "Southern Rains".
Tillis "battled intestinal issues since early 2016 and never fully recovered", his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs, said in a statement.
In 1976, Tillis won the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award and was inducted in the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born on August 8, 1932, near Tampa, Fla.
Will There Be a Bidding War for 21st Century Fox's Major Assets?
Not every media company can make a play for the assets of Fox, which has a market capitalization of about $52 billion. TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: This report was posted by Week Herald and is the sole property of of Week Herald.
North Korea defector said to have 'enormous number of parasites'
The hospital that treated him said he had been shot in his buttocks , armpit, back, shoulder and knee, and sustained other wounds. The problem is common among defectors, the professor said, but may not be reflective of the North Korean population.
Rotten Tomatoes reveals its rating for Justice League, and it's not great
Justice League however is rated lower than Man of Steel and Wonder Woman with ratings of 55 percent and 92 percent respectively. The New York Times Manohla Dargis said " Justice League " is looser, goosier and certainly more watchable than " Batman v.
In all, the Country Music Hall of Fame member wrote more than 1,000 songs and in 2012 received a National Medal of Arts for bringing "his unique blend of warmth and humor to the great tradition of country music". He starred in several television movies and briefly had a network TV show, "Mel and Susan Together", with Susan Anton. He developed the stutter as a child after a bout with malaria.
Tributes from fellow country music stars poured in on social media, with musician and "The Voice" judge Blake Shelton describing Tillis' death as "a truly devastating loss". He joined the US Air Force to serve in the Korean War and was stationed in Okinawa, where he spent his time cooking and singing on Armed Forces Radio.
"I couldn't get out the word 'halt, '" he said.
In February 2012 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts - the highest honor given to artists by the U.S. government - by President Barack Obama.