Country singer and actor Mickey Gilley, known for launching the Urban Cowboy movement in Country music, has died. Gilley was 86 and had just come off of the road, his favorite place, having played ten shows in April. He passed away in Branson, Missouri from complications due to a recent hospitalization.
Though known for his numerous country music hits, Gilley has never been shy about his christian faith. in fact, in 1999, he recorded a full album of hymns and Gospel favourites entitled Precious Memories. Some of the highlights include Gilley's renditions of hymns such as "Amazing Grace," "One Day at a Time," "Why Me Lord" and many others.
Born in Natchez, Mississippi, Gilley was exposed to music at an early age and chased a career in music following in the footsteps of his older cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis. After deciding to pursue music full time, Gilley cut his 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 numerous popular television series including 'Murder She Wrote,' 'The Fall Guy,' 'Fantasy Island' and 'Dukes of Hazzard.' Throughout the course of his career, Gilley scored 17 #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 earned 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 only a handful of artists to receive the Academy of Country Music's Triple Crown Awards.