Legendary country music singer/songwriter Mel Tillis died Sunday morning (Nov. 19), his publicist confirms.
Tillis, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry, was 85 years old when he passed away at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. He died following a lengthy battle with intestinal issues that began in early 2016. According to a press release, the cause of death is suspected to be respiratory failure.
Throughout his decades-long career, Tillis recorded more than 60 albums and charted more than 30 Top 10 singles.
Tillis is survived by six children (Pam Tillis, Connie Tillis, Cindy Shorey, Sonny Tillis, Carrie April Tillis, and Hannah Puryear), six grandchildren, a great grandson, a sister (Linda Crosby) and brother (Richard Tillis), the mother of five of his children (Doris Tillis), and his longtime partner (Kathy DeMonaco).
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.