Country music legend Mickey Gilley, who inspired the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, died at the age of 86. Mickey Gilley Associates issued an official statement announcing his death:
“He died gently, surrounded by his family and close friends.”
Gilley died on Saturday, May 7, in Branson, Missouri, where he owned the Grand Shanghai Theatre. The artist even performed last month but has been suffering from “falling health” for the last week, according to reports. At the time of writing, no exact cause of death has been reported. Gilley is survived by his wife, Cindy Loeb Gilley, according to his agents. His children, Kathy, Michael, Gregory, and Keith Ray, as well as four grandkids and nine great-grandchildren, survive him.
Mickey Gilley’s death is being mourned on Twitter.
Mickey Gilley was a well-known country artist in the late 1990s. He has 39 top-ten country hits, 17 number-one songs, and 42 singles in the top 40 on the US country chart. He also owned Gilley’s, “the world’s biggest honky tonk,” in Pasadena, Texas, and was the driving force behind the “Urban Cowboy” craze in the 1980s, which inspired a film office success of the same name. Following the singer’s death, countless individuals flocked to Twitter to give their sincere respects and grieve his loss:
Our dear friend Mickey Gilley has passed. So much of Houston/Pasadena’s history, country music, Urban Cowboy, workin man’s blues & a wonderful time in my life encapsulated in that man. pic.twitter.com/POJwW3gWhs
— Michael Berry (@MichaelBerrySho) May 7, 2022
Sad to hear that country music star and founder of the world’s biggest honkytonk Gilley’s, Mickey Gilley has passed away at age 86. Sending prayers to his family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/l0kQP0Tkh8
— REVISITED: Chance WB Hurst (@ChanceWBHurst) May 7, 2022
Gilley earned six Academy of Country Music Awards over his career for songs such as Room Full of Roses, Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time, Chains of Love, She’s Pulling Me Back Again, Honky Tonky Memories, and the reworking of the Soul smash Stand by Me.
In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Country Hall of Fame and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gilley was one of just a handful of performers to get the Triple Crown Award from the Academy of Country Music. Gilley will definitely be missed by his family, friends, fans, followers, coworkers, and other artists, as condolences continue to stream online.