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Pam Tillis

The daughter of country legend Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis made her own way in the music business, eventually becoming a contemporary country star in the '90s. Tillis was born on July 24, 1957, in Plant City, FL, but raised mostly in Nashville and started taking piano lessons at age eight. She switched to guitar at 12 and played in talent contests during her teenage years. Somewhat wild and rebellious, she survived a near-fatal car crash at age 16 that required extensive facial reconstruction. Fortunately, she recovered fully and pursued music aggressively at the University of Tennessee, singing with the High Country Swing Band (which played country-rock and jug band music) and in a folk duo with Ashley Cleveland. She quit school in 1976 and worked at her father's publishing company, placing her composition "I'll Meet You on the Other Side of the Morning" with Barbara Fairchild. She also formed her own backing band, which soon relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and renamed themselves Freelight; they developed an adventurous style based on jazz and rock, not country. Tillis returned to Nashville in 1979, though, and sang backup for her father while raising her first child as a single parent, fronting an R&B band, and continuing to write songs, a couple of which were recorded by Gloria Gaynor and Chaka Khan.

Tillis performed regularly at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe with several other female singer/songwriters and landed a deal with Warner Brothers in the early '80s. She released one album, the pop-oriented Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey, in 1983 and had her first chart single the following year with "Goodbye HIghway." Several more singles were released through 1987, but none even managed to make the Top 50; even so, Tillis was making her name as a songwriter for Tree Publishing, with compositions recorded by Highway 101 and Conway Twitty, among others. In 1989, the same year she acted in a Tennessee production of Jesus Christ Superstar, she landed a new deal with Arista. Tillis released her label debut, Put Yourself in My Place, in 1991, and the lead single, "Don't Tell Me What to Do," raced into the Top Five, giving Tillis her long-awaited breakthrough. Of the album's five total singles, "One of Those Things" and "Maybe It Was Memphis" also made the Top Ten (as did the album). 1992's Homeward Looking Angel was an equally successful follow-up, with "Shake the Sugar Tree" and "Let That Pony Run" both making the Top Five.

Tillis co-produced her third Arista album, 1994's Sweetheart's Dance, which proved to be her most successful yet and earned her the ACM's award for Female Vocalist of the Year. "Spilled Perfume," "When You Walk in the Room," and "In Between Dances" all went Top Five, and "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)" became her first ever number one hit. Released in late 1995, All of This Love was the first album Tillis produced by herself, and gave her Top Tens in "Deep Down" and "The River and the Highway." Two new songs from 1997's Greatest Hits compilation, "All the Good Ones Are Gone" and "Land of the Living," both went Top Five as well. 1998's Every Time reflected her recent divorce from songwriter Bob DiPiero and gave her a near-Top Ten hit in "I Said a Prayer." A reshuffling at Arista delayed the release of Thunder and Roses until 2001, so in the meantime Tillis performed on Broadway in the Leiber & Stoller tribute production Smokey Joe's Cafe. Thunder and Roses found Tillis' commercial momentum slowing down, and she and Arista subsequently parted ways. She caught on at Epic's roots subsidiary Lucky Dog and debuted for them in 2002 with It's All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis, a collection of her father's material that finally found her embracing his legacy on her own terms. Rhinestoned appeared in 2007 from Stellar Cat Records. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

shes the best
She ROCKS!
carlpowell1
I just love Ms. Pam Tillis love her music. She is always going to be my friend.
jseflorida
Simply put, Pam Tillis is the model of a female country singer. I've been listening to her for over 20 years and just love her so much. What a woman! What a voice!
I've always been crazy about the incredibly talented Pam Tillis. I totally love her voice.
Pam Tillis - unforgetable talent and voice - Maybe it was Memphis is my most favorite - but love all her music!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
drlgrounds
love her version of Morning Has Broken
As good as it gets Love Pam Tillis
wltrbuckley4 8 7
I like this gal
scarlett921
I love Don't Tell me What to do - perfect for an ex-boyfriend . From 20 years ago, but still...
ljurkovic
this song, and a cetain southern night on the shores of lake lanier, sure felt right.... he proposed a week later...that was 27 years ago.
She always has had a way that reached the way I was feeling that day and even still now.
julyspot
I honestly knew almost every one of her songs that came up, but had no idea what here name was. I used to listen to her when I was a kid. Thanks Pandora for helping out!
I think she's an absolute angel! I saw Pam perform some years ago and everyone loved her so much,she received a standing ovation which brought about her coming back out on stage and singing 2 more songs. I guess her father taught her that when performing, you give 150% of yourself--an d boy did Miss Pam Tillis live up to that!! She's an amazing musical angel!
I like all of this love
I like al of this Love
"Maybe It Was Memphis" is one of my favorite, well done with lots of emotions.
I grew up listening to Pam's daddy, Mel and always thought he was a great performer then when his daughter Pam came out into the starlight I knew instantly that she to would be a star----She has a beautiful face, a pleasant personality and a voice of an angel. How could she go wrong? An on top of all of that she had an incredible father as an instructor and protector. YOU GO GIRL----I KNOW YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE ON TOP!!!!!!!!! !
Just hearing her voice for the first time, a few of her songs came up on my Patty Loveless station. Her song "Maybe It Was Memphis" is one of my favorites.
Can't wait to hear more! :-)
blanchardk1
i love her voice. this song is great.
SHE IS A GREAT SINGER AND THIS SONG SPILLED PERFUME IS FOR SO MANY OF US
i saw you in crisfield and deleware state fair i love and your music so much charles 1-410-827-44 3 o r 410-924-9464
Wonderful wonderful wonderful.
Beautiful, talented, rebellious.. . w e love it...Go Pam
*cusin*
Hey thats my Cuz!

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