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Hall of Famer Mel Tillis recovering after heart surgery in Nashville

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Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis, 81, is recovering in Nashville following heart surgery, according to a March 10 confirmation from the singer's publicist. Don Murry Grubbs.

Known for his ever-so-smooth singing in spite of his stutter-laced speech that resulted after a bout with malaria, Tillis--among his many accolades--has recorded 60-plus albums, charted 35 Top-10 singles and was named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, in addition to being a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.

The hit-maker's daughter, who is also a country star in her own right, Pam Tillis, released the following statement March 10 regarding the health of her father:

"Over the weekend, Daddy required a routine heart procedure. He's doing fantastic and is expected to make a full recovery. In typical Mel Tillis fashion, he's already cutting up and cracking jokes with the nurses. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated."

A native of Florida, the Nashville-based country artist has logged many hit songs, including "I Ain't Never," "Good Woman Blues," "Southern Rains," "Who's Julie," "New Patches," "Send Me Down to Tucson," "I Got the Hoss" and "Coca-Cola Cowboy," among many others.

During the course of his career, Tillis has written more than 1,000 songs, 600 of which have been recorded by major artists including Kenny Rogers (“Ruby, Don’t You Take Your Love To Town”), George Strait (“Thoughts Of A Fool”) and Ricky Skaggs (“Honey, Open That Door”). Moreover, Broadcast Music Inc., best known as simply BMI, named Tillis as its Songwriter of the Decade for two decades. And more recently, President Barack Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts.

Per the living legend's PR representative, fans are encouraged to visit www.meltillis.com for updates on Tillis and upcoming tour dates.

Video view: To see Tillis sing "Take Me Back to Tulsa" live, please access the video embedded with this post.

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