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Mel Tillis ‘On the Road to Recovery,’ Not in Critical Condition, After Surgery

Mel Tillis at CRS 2015
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

Mel Tillis underwent colon surgery this week in a Nashville area hospital, but reports that the country music legend is in poor condition are “overstated,” his rep says.

Representative Don Murry Grubbs explains to the Tennessean that Tillis is actually “on the road to recovery.”

“Doctors said he’s doing fine and on the right track,” Grubbs shares. “He’s awake and watching television.”

Fans and friends in the country community were alarmed to hear on Friday (Jan. 15) that Tillis was in critical condition, said to be a result of complications from the procedure. Several country artists asked for prayers for the country legend via Twitter, including the Oak Ridge Boys and Andrew Pope. Tillis had his surgery on Wednesday (Jan. 13).

“Prayers for our brother Mel Tillis who is very ill at this time…,” the Oak Ridge Boys wrote Friday.

Wide Open Country reports that a tweet was issued by Absolute Publicity, the firm which represents Tillis, asking for prayers, but that it was later deleted. Pope’s message to fans came from earlier this week, affirming that Tillis has been in the hospital for a few days.

Tillis — whose daughter is fellow singer Pam Tillis — moved from Florida for Nashville to pursue a career in music. He has over five decades in the music industry under his belt and continues to be active in the country community, including a slot on this year’s Country Music Cruise. Tillis was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame in 1976. He’s written over 1,000 songs including “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” by Kenny Rogers, “Detroit City” by Bobby Bare, “Emotions” by Brenda Lee, “Burning Memories” by Ray Price, “Thoughts of a Fool” by George Strait, “Honey (Open That Door)” by Ricky Skaggs and many more.

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