The Tillis family has announced details for a public memorial service for the late Mel Tillis. On Wednesday, January 31 at 10:00 a.m., family, friends, fans, and music industry colleagues, will gather at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium to honor the life and career of the Country Music Hall of Famer.
A slew of country stars will perform some of Tillis' most memorable career songs. Those scheduled to take the stage include Ricky Skaggs, Ray Stevens, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Brenda Lee, Alison Krauss with the Street Corner Symphony, Jamey Johnson, Collin Raye, Daryle Singletary, Lorrie Morgan, Ira Dean, Pam Tillis, Sonny Tillis, and Carrie April Tillis. The Statesiders, Tillis' band, will accompany select performances.
The event is free and open to the public.
Following a lengthy struggle to regain his health, country music legend Mel Tillis passed away on November 19, 2017, at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. Tillis battled intestinal issues since early 2016 and never fully recovered. He 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 You 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.