Nashville, Tenn.Â â€“ The Tillis family has announced details for a publicÂ 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 &Â the Gatlin Brothers, Brenda Lee, Alison Krauss with the Street Corner Symphony, Jamey Johnson, Collin Raye, Daryle Singletary, Lorrie Morgan,Â Ira Dean,Â Pam Tillis, Sonny Tillis, andÂ 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,Â country music legend Mel Tillis passed away on November 19, 2017, atÂ 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 thanÂ 60 albums, hadÂ 35 Top Ten singles, six #1 hits (“I Ain’t Never,” “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “Southern Rains,”Â “Good Woman Blues,”Â “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 overÂ 1,000 songs,Â 600Â of which have been recorded by major artists includingÂ Kenny RogersÂ (“Ruby, Don’t You Take Your Love To Town”),Â George StraitÂ (“Thoughts Of A Fool”), andÂ Ricky Skaggs (“Honey, Open That Door”).Â Broadcast Music Inc.Â (BMI) named TillisÂ Songwriter of the DecadeÂ forÂ two decades. In February of 2012Â President ObamaÂ awarded Tillis theÂ National Medal of Arts.