Country music legend Mel Tillis is recovering from colon surgery at a hospital in Nashville.
Tillis was treated last week and is still hospitalized, but he’s expected to be released soon, according to publicist Don Murry Grubs.
“He’s doing fine,” said Grubs.
Messages of support flooded social media after news broke on Friday morning.
Prayers for our brother Mel Tillis who is very ill at this time… Bobby Bare will fill in for Mel on the Country Music Cruise…
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) January 15, 2016
Tillis, 83, has been touring and performing regularly to sold-out crowds around the country. He was scheduled to perform on the weeklong Country Music Cruise with stars like Kenny Rogers beginning Jan. 16, but will be replaced by Bobby Bare.
Tillis has had a long and storied career, one that took off in the 70s with a string of top 10 hits and the coveted County Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award. He’s also known for his lighthearted and friendly disposition, particularly concerning a speech impediment that inspired the name of his 1984 autobiography Stutterin’ Boy.
Tillis is also an accomplished venue owner and songwriter, with hits for artists like Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings and Charley Pride. His Mel Tillis Theater in Branson is one of the town’s most successful venues.
His daughters Pam and Carrie have also made names for themselves in country music. Pam Tillis, a country star in her own right, had the honor of inducting her father into the Grand Ole Opry in 2007. He was later inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame that year as well.