Country star Mickey Gilley, whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the 1980 film Urban Cowboy and a nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots, has died. He was 86.
Gilley died Saturday in Branson, Missouri, where he helped run the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre. He had been performing as recently as last month, but was in failing health over the past week.
“He passed peacefully with his family and close friends by his side,” according a statement from Mickey Gilley Associates.
Gilley — cousin of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis — opened Gilley’s, “the world’s largest honky tonk,” in Pasadena, Texas, in the early 1970s. By mid-decade, he was a successful club owner and had enjoyed his first commercial success with “Room Full of Roses.” He began turning out country hits regularly, including “Window Up Above,” “She’s Pulling Me Back Again” and the honky-tonk anthem “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time.”