Mel - best known for hits including I Ain't Never and Good Woman Blues - had reportedly been battling an intestinal issue since a year ago.
Respiratory failure was the suspected cause, but the singer had suffered from intestinal issues since early 2016.
He was born in Tampa in 1932 and throughout his more than 60 years in country music had 35 top ten singles and six number one hits, and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In all, the Country Music Hall of Fame member wrote more than 1,000 songs and in 2012 received a National Medal of Arts for bringing "his unique blend of warmth and humor to the great tradition of country music".
Longtime country singer, songwriter Mel Tillis dies
His first big hit as a songwriter was "I'm exhausted", which was recorded that same year by Webb Pierce, who went on to record several more of Tillis's compositions. Mel Tillis always put on a show ... In 2007, Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Born Lonnie Melvin Tillis on August 8, 1932, "Mel" gained fame in the 1970s with a string of successful hits.
Tillis got his musical start in the 1950s performing with an Air Force band while stationed in Okinawa.
He also dabbled in acting, appearing in such feature films as Clint Eastwood's "Every Which Way But Loose", and the Burt Reynolds movies "Cannonball Run I and II" and "Smokey and the Bandit II". Many of those songs were recorded by other country music stars such as Kenny Rogers, George Strait and Ricky Skaggs.
The Tillis family asks for your prayers and will soon release more information regarding funeral services in Florida and Nashville.
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