Mel Tillis was laid to rest in Clarksville on Monday, with hundreds of family, friends and fans showing up for a public visitation and funeral service to pay respects.
The Country Music Hall of Famer died at the age of 85 on Nov. 19 at a Florida hospital after a lengthy illness.
Friend and fellow songwriter and artist Vince Gill shared his thoughts on the moving service, and his pal.
Vince Gill said country music lost one of the greatest songwriters in country music when they lost Mel Tillis. He talked to Jesse Knutson NC5 after today's funeral.
Posted by NewsChannel 5 Nashville on Monday, November 27, 2017
The singer won every major award he could for his accomplishments in the music field: a National Medal of Arts, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Longtime friend and fellow Statesider Buddy Cannon shared on his Facebook page, “Yesterday Ol’ Flutter Lips, Mel Tillis, was laid to rest. I was dreading the drive up to Clarksville knowing that it was going to be the saddest of days. But in the hour plus it took me and Billie to get to the funeral home, every single thought of Mel that came through my mind was something funny and I smiled all the way there. The hugs from Mel’s kids were tight, love filled hugs.
“I have known them all since they were very young. They know how much I loved Mel and that love runs through to them. There were a lot of STATESIDERS present, from the last version of the band to members dating back many, many years. It was so good to see all those guys again. Being a member of the Statesiders
“I would compare to being a member of any other great iconic band such as Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys or The Strangers, or even bands like the Glen Miller Orchestra. The Statesiders were and always will be a source of pride for anyone who ever wore the uniform. Being a Statesider for a little while is one of my most proud accomplishments. The Statesiders are a close brotherhood.
“Mel’s music and humor is the bond that will always keep us brothers. Mel was the father of all the Statesiders and we will always miss him. But when we miss him we will always miss him with a smile on our face. Because he was funny if he was in a crowd of 10 thousand people or if he was in a room with just one other person. Rest easy Melvin.”
The Tillis family is planning a public memorial service which will be open to fans and the music industry in January.