Mel Tillis, country music legend, dies at 85

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NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 25: Recording Artist Mel TIllis performs at “The Legend’s at Legends’ during CRS 2015 on February 25, 2015 at the in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

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OCALA, Fla. – Country music hall of famer Mel Tillis has died at 85, according to the Tennessean.

Tillis died Sunday morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida, according to the paper, citing his publicist. Respiratory failure is suspected as the cause of death.

Tillis recorded songs since the late 1950s, but his biggest success occurred in the 1970s with a long list of Top 10 hits.

Some of his most popular songs include “Coca-Cola Cowboy” in 1979, “Good Woman Blues” in 1976 and “Send Me Down to Tucson” in 1979.

“Mel Tillis was a guy who had it all: He could write, he could sing and he could entertain an audience,” said Grand Ole Opry announcer and WSM DJ Eddie Stubbs, according to the Tennessean. “There’s a big difference between a concert and a show. Mel Tillis always put on a show….You always felt good about being around him.”

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