Mickey Gilley, the country music legend and founder of the world’s biggest honky tonk, has died. He was 86.
“It was my great honor to know this man most of my life. Mickey was a true musical talent who charted 42 singles in the Top 40 Country Charts over a span of two decades,” Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner wrote on Facebook.
Gilley put the Texas town on the map thanks to the John Travolta film, “Urban Cowboy.”
“His talent and larger-than-life personality helped ignite a new interest in country music as he introduced the world to Pasadena through his dance hall and ‘Urban Cowboy’ in 1980,” Wagner wrote. “We were so honored to have Mickey perform at our State of the City in February, 2020. Our prayers for comfort and peace are with Mickey’s family, his loved ones and his fans.”
A native of Natchez, Mississippi, Gilley influenced generations of country music singers over several decades. He was known for his combination of Louisiana rhythm and blues and country-pop crossover melodies. He grew up with his two famous cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, and earned 39 Top 10 hits and 17 No. 1 songs throughout his career.
“We were so honored to have Mickey perform at our State of the City in February, 2020. Our prayers for comfort and peace are with Mickey’s family, his loved ones and his fans.” He attached photos of the event mentioned.
Gilley went on to star in popular television series including “Murder She Wrote,” “The Fall Guy,” “Fantasy Island” and “Dukes of Hazzard.”
His accolades include six Academy of Country Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and induction into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011, becoming one of only a handful of artists to receive the Academy of Country Music’s Triple Crown Awards.