(2911 Media) Country music hitmaker and Academy of Country Music Award winner Mickey Gilley has died at age 86 in Branson, Mo., following a recent hospitalization.
Born in Natchez, Mississippi, Gilley was exposed to music at an early age and pursued a career in music following in the footsteps of his older cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis.
After deciding to pursue music full-time, Gilley recorded her first single in New Orleans under producer Huey Meaux. In 1970, he opened Gilley’s, his first nightclub in Pasadena, Texas.
Later, in 1980, Gilley’s was featured in the movie Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. He went on to star in many popular TV series including ‘Murder She Wrote’, ‘The Fall Guy’, ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Dukes of Hazzard’.
Throughout her career, Gilley scored 17 No. 1 hits, including “Room Full Of Roses”, “City Lights”, “Window Up Above”, “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time”, ” Bring It On Home To Me”, “Stand By Me”, “Lonely Nights” and more.
Gilley has won numerous accolades, including six ACM Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. He was one of the few artists to receive the Triple Crown of the Academy of Country Music. Price.
Other artists and friends are mourning the loss of their friend and sharing Mickey Gilley memories:
“My heart will forever break after the loss of my dear friend Mickey Gilley. He believed in me when no one else did. Losing Gilley feels like a bad dream and sadly it doesn’t. He loved his fans more than anything and taught He always told me that if I thought it was going to rain, I should always take my umbrella. My prayers are with Cindy during this very difficult time. -Johnny Lee
“Mickey Gilley and I have been friends since his ‘Urban Cowboy’ and ‘Any Which Way You Can’ film years. We had played together a lot around the country and especially at his Gilley’s Club in Texas. We had a great time ! I’ll miss you!” -David Frizzell
“I loved working on Mickey Gilley records as a backing vocalist, with the great Eddie Kilroy as a producer. One of the first big gigs I did was Gilleys in Pasadena, TX and I was marveling at the hustling machine! The image and memory of Mickey will always be.” -Janie Fricke
“Just when we think our hearts can’t take it anymore, we learn that our dear close friend Mickey Gilley has passed away. He truly changed the course of country music. Performing gigs with him over the years has always been an amazing experience. We were lucky enough to have been able to see one of her last concerts just recently. Her voice was as beautiful and strong as ever. Our prayers go out to Cindy, the family and her many fans. Rest easy quietly our friend and know that you will be deeply missed.” – TG Sheppard and Kelly Lang
“I’m heartbroken by the passing of Mickey Gilley. I started my career opening for Mickey. He was a great person and artist. I’ve loved him ever since.” – Crystal Gayle
“Once again we have lost another country music star and longtime friend. Rest in peace Mickey Gilley until we all sing again. In the meantime, we will miss you brother.” – Joe Bonsall / The Boys of Oak Ridge
“Mickey and I have done so many shows together. I feel like Mickey and Johnny are like brothers from another mother and this loss hits hard and he will be sorely missed. I really respect him as a musician and he was a great artist. My thoughts are with his family and friends.” – Lacy J. Dalton
“We just lost a wonderful human being. Mickey Gilley has been honky-tonkin” since the 1950s. “Urban Cowboy” secured him a place in American consciousness and he’s been on our minds ever since. He lived a full life and left us. with a large catalog of hits. One of the things I’m most proud of is that over the years we’ve become close. The times we spent together doing shows, cruising or just talking were a gift. Sheila and I will miss each other dearly. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers. – T. Graham Brown
“Every loss to our country music community is a great loss, but this one hits close to my heart. It breaks my heart! Mickey Gilley was one of my musical heroes. No one could play a honky piano better tonk than Gilley, and Nobody had a better time on stage than Gilley. After his accident took away his ability to play, he often called me to play piano for him when he was in Nashville. He Said I looked more like Mickey Gilley than him Greatest compliments I’ve ever had or will ever have Not too long ago Jeannie Seely and I opened for Mickey at a a festival in Illinois. He invited me on his bus where we visited for over an hour. I don’t know if he even realized how special this moment was for me. My prayers go out to Cindy and the rest of his family and friends. Tonight I’m playing a show in Kentucky, and you can bet I’ll be singing “T he Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time” in honor of Mickey Gilley and the honky tonk sound he loved.” -Tim Atwood
“My heart sinks when I learned of the passing of the incomparable Mickey Gilley. I was lucky to know him and to have had the honor of recording a song with him. He was an incredible person and someone who one that I will truly miss. Rest in peace my dear friend until we meet again in paradise.” -Lisa Matassa
“With the Urban Cowboy movement of the 1970s, Mickey Gilley introduced his unique style of piano playing to a whole new generation. He was one of the greatest artists I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, as well as a warm and wonderful friend. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Cindy, his cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart and Linda Gail Lewis, his family and millions of fans around the world. He will be sorely missed” – dallas wayne
“Mickey Gilley is one of the most famous country singers of all time. Not only was he a great singer, but he once owned the biggest nightclub in Texas. Truly a country icon and cousin to the one and only Jerry Lee Lewis. RIP to a legend and truly one of a kind!” – Shane Owens
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary Mickey Gilley. One of the biggest names in the industry. I was honored to perform several times at his famous nightclub in Vegas. Prayers to his family. ” -JD Shelburne
“It breaks my heart to learn of Mickey’s passing! He has been a staple in music for many years and his spirit will be truly missed.” -Paige King Johnson
“Another great loss in country music – so sad to hear of the passing of Mickey Gilley. Our paths crossed many times in Branson; and Gene Watson and I did his TV show. Loved the day where I had the chance to hang out backstage with Johnny Lee and Mickey Gilley at one of their shows. Great stories and great memories. May he rest in peace.” – Rhonda Vincent
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of another country legend, Mr. Mickey Gilley. I was first exposed to Mr. Gilley and his music when watching ‘Urban Cowboy’. His rendition from “Stand By Me” is a real Hits such as “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time” to “Room Full of Roses” in addition to his famous Gilley’s Bar, Mr. Gilley will go down in history as one of the all-greats of the time.” – Makenzie Phipps
“In 1980, Mickey Gilley and his country nightclub Gilley’s were the scene of the movie ‘Urban Cowboy’ and, with his great music, were instrumental in bringing country music to a global audience. What a legacy!” -Joey Canyon
“I’m beyond sad to hear the news of Mickey Gilley. Growing up in Texas, the name was all too familiar to me. So many #1 songs that will never be forgotten and neither will he. Rest In Peace Mickey . We’re going to the next one.” – Mary Sarah
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