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Country Legend Mel Tillis Dead at 85

Country Legend Mel Tillis Dead at 85
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Country singer and songwriter Mel Tillis, who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis — and who had many of his own — has died, People magazine reports. He was 85.

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Tillis's daughter Pam, a country star in her own right, posted on her Facebook page:

"Pam is deeply saddened by the passing of her father, Mel Tillis, last night. It was sudden and unexpected. Pam's father was dearly loved and one of a kind. Please take a moment to visit Official Mel Tillis and let them know how you felt about this south Florida poet that was a master songwriter, brilliant comedian and beloved father."

Tillis, known for his stutter, had #1 country hits with "I Ain't Never" (1972), "Good Woman Blues" (1976), "Heart Healer" (1976), "I Believe in You" (1978), "Coca-Cola Cowboy" (1979) and "Southern Rains" (1980).

Tillis was a CMA Entertainer of the Year and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2012.