Longtime staple of Country Music, singer Mel Tillis, has died in Ocala, Florida. Tillis was 85.
He was born Lonnie Melvin Tillis in Tampa, Florida, in 1932. Tillis was unique in his field because from childhood he spoke with a pronounced stutter which disappeared when he took to music.
Among his many hits were I Ain’t Never, Good Woman Blues, and Heart Healer.
In addition to his success as a singer, Tillis also penned several hits for other country crooners. One in particular that achieved long-term success was Kenny Rogers & The First Edition’s Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town.
Tillis was the father of six children. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Barack Obama in 2012.