Mel Tillis, Country Legend, Making Quick Recovery From Heart Surgery

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 10:35 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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Legendary country singer Mel Tillis underwent routine heart surgery over the weekend and his daughter said he was making a quick and good-humored recovery.

Four of his concerts had to be canceled as a result, according to Billboard.

"In typical Mel Tillis fashion, he's already cutting up and cracking jokes with the nurses. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated,"  the star's daughter, Pam Tillis, said in a statement.

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She added, "He's doing fantastic and is expected to make a full recovery."

Many fans including 5-time Grammy Nominee Rhonda Vincent followed the advice, taking to Twitter to voice their support.

Last year, Tillis was awarded the National Medal of Art by President Barack Obamawho presided over a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, conferring medals on actor Al Pacino, artist Will Barnett, author Rita Dove and others.

“I've had a blessed career, and that has been acknowledged in many ways over the years,” Tillis said in a statement at the time. “I was pleasantly surprised when I got the call because I didn't know there were anymore [sic] awards left to win. I'm very thankful and what an honor!"

Success as a singer-songwriter was hard-won for Tillis because of a stutter, a fact he discusses in an interview with the National Endowment for the Arts. Nonetheless, he released over 60 albums, producing hits like "Good Woman Blues," "I Ain't Never," and "Coca Cola Cowboy." As a songwriter, he's written songs for George Straight, Ray Price, Bobby Bare and Kenny Rogers, Billboard notes.

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