A celebration of life service for the late Mickey Gilley is set for May 27, and fans will have the option of watching it stream live online.
According to a press release, Gilley’s family and friends will gather together with select invited guests on Friday, May 27, at the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre in Branson, Mo., where the iconic entertainer spent many of his later years performing.
The celebration of life will begin at 1PM CT, and it will stream live online, with more details to be announced via Gilley’s Facebook page. Seating at the in-person event will be reserved for Gilley’s family and those closest to them, with a limited amount of seating also available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
A public memorial will take place in Pasadena, Texas, later in the summer, and there will also be a private memorial in Ferriday, La.
A public tribute celebration is also slated to take place in Nashville, with details soon to be announced.
According to a statement from his publicist, Gilley died “peacefully” on May 7 in Branson, “with his family and close friends by his side.” He was 86 years old.
Born on March 9, 1936, in Natchez, Miss., Gilley scored his first country hit in 1974 with “Room Full of Roses,” which gave him his first No. 1 single. He went on to place a total of 17 hits at the top of the chart over the course of the ensuing two decades, including “Window Up Above,” “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time,” “True Love Ways,” “You Don’t Know Me” and more.
Gilley shot to more mainstream fame in the ’80s after the release of the John Travolta film Urban Cowboy, much of which was filmed at his Texas nightclub, Gilley’s. The soundtrack from the film became a smash, and it featured his cover of “Stand by Me,” which reached the top of the country charts and also scored a crossover Top 40 hit.
Gilley also pursued an acting career that included roles in Murder She Wrote, The Fall Guy, Fantasy Island and Dukes of Hazzard. The entertainer earned numerous accolades over the course of his career, including six Academy of Country Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. Gilley was also one of only a select few artists to receive the Academy of Country Music’s Triple Crown Awards.
Gilley was preceded in death by his wife, Vivian. He is survived by his wife Cindy Loeb Gilley; his children Kathy, Michael, Gregory and Keith Ray; four grandchildren and nine great grandchildren and his cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart.
Gilley’s family requests donations to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary or any animal shelter of choice in lieu of flowers.
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May they rest in peace …