Jerry Lee Lewis, Irving Azoff and More Remember Mickey Gilley

Article Contributed by 117 Entertainment | Published on Monday, May 9, 2022

I am so very saddened by the death of my cousin Mickey Gilley. He and Jimmy Swaggert are like brothers to me. We are asking for prayers for his wife, Cindy and his entire family. I'm sad and praying. I loved him very much."
- Jerry Lee Lewis, cousin of Mickey Gilley and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member
(see Gilley and Lewis together on Pop Goes The Country: Click Here)
(see Gilley perform at Lewis' 85th Birthday in 2020: Click Here)
"With the passing of Mickey, the music world has lost a giant. I don’t think there is any argument about that. Mickey, Jerry Lee and myself were raised together. We learned to play piano together. I remember the day that he came to me and said, 'Jimmy, I want to learn to play the piano.' We were only about 10 years old. He had already taught himself to play guitar and had done very well. I remember showing him several chords on the piano, and he took it from there. I might quickly say that he took it very well – as everyone has seen for themselves for over a half-century. But alongside all of his achievements in music, the thing that thrilled me the most was that some time ago he called me and said, 'Jimmy, I've made things right with the Lord.' I saw an immediate change in his life in these last few days and that is the thing that’s far more important to me. The music world will miss him. And the work of God will miss him as well.  I will miss him. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this time.”
- Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, cousin of Mickey Gilley and legendary Pentecostal televangelist

“Working with Mickey Gilley was undoubtedly one of the top highlights of bringing the Urban Cowboy story to both record and film audiences. Mickey was the real deal and a key component of the 'Urban Cowboy' story. He will be missed greatly.”
- Irving Azoff, music executive and producer of "Urban Cowboy"

Mickey Gilley was more than just a legend to me. I loved him like a brother. We enjoyed a closeness that came from working towards goals that many suggested were unachievable. He was a kind, thoughtful fun-loving friend and partner through the process of making music and his generosity of spirit pulled the best from everyone with whom he worked. I’m overcome with a sadness that only the memory of his mischievous smile, beautiful soul and our special time together can erase."
- Jim Ed Norman, music executive and Mickey Gilley's longtime producer

"Been a friend of Gilley's for 50 years. He was one of the good ones - I loved playing Gilley's in Texas, we played it many, many times. The fact is, that's where I first met Mickey and Johnny Lee and ol' Sherwood Cryer. I'm sure going to miss my old friend."
- Bobby Bare, Country Music Hall of Fame member

“The Academy is saddened to lose one of our greats today. He is a seven-time ACM Awards winner including our Entertainer of the Year in 1976 and prestigious Triple Crown award in 2005, which few artists have achieved. His impact on Country Music, film, and television, can never be understated and will never be forgotten. We’ll always keep this urban cowboy in our hearts, and we send our deepest sympathies to his family and fans around the world.”
- Damon Whiteside, CEO, Academy of Country Music

"Gilley's love of music and people was beautiful. Gifted far beyond talent, he was genuine, loyal, fearless and charming . He warmly welcomed artists and fans from across the globe and all walks of life into his world.  A country music ambassador extraordinaire! May his memory be eternal."
- Lane Brody, fellow artist

"Mickey was the first No. one record I played on and I  had 10 consecutive overall with him. He was a gift to not only country music, but the world of music. One cannot think of the motion picture 'Urban Cowboy' without thinking of Mickey Gilley."
- Eddie Bayers, Country Music Hall of Fame drummer, played on many of Mickey Gilley's records