Since 1957, the Mississippi native has been creating music based on the sound of Louisiana’s rhythm and blues. Gilley grew up surrounded by the influence of music with his two famous cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart.
Gilley made his chart topper debut with his song “Is It Wrong For Loving You,” and gained a total of 39 Top 10 hits, 17 of those making it to the No. 1 spot.
After moving to Pasadena, Texas, in 1971, he opened his world-famous honky-tonk nightclub, Gilley’s.
In 1980 he appeared in the film “Urban Cowboy” alongside John Travolta, Debra Winger, and Johnny Lee. He later went on to star in numerous popular television series including “Murder She Wrote,” “The Fall Guy,” “Fantasy Island” and “Dukes of Hazzard.”
He has 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.
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