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Mickey Gilley Facts

Title: The Life and Legacy of Mickey Gilley: From His Roots to His Enduring Career

Early Years and Personal Life

Mickey Gilley is an American country music singer and pianist who has long been a household name in the industry. Born in Natchez, Mississippi on March 9, 1936, he was the cousin of one of the biggest names in the industry, Jerry Lee Lewis. Gilley’s father owned a honky-tonk that he would later take over, which is where his musical career began.

Gilley, now in his mid-80s, has been active in the music industry for more than six decades. His professional career began in the 1950s, but personal challenges eventually took him away from the spotlight. In the 1980s, he saw a resurgence in his popularity and acclaim with a series of hits that truly cemented his place in country music history.

Gilley has been married twice and has three children. He struggled with alcoholism for many years, which impacted his career and led to a near-fatal accident in 2009. Gilley suffered a broken neck and was left paralyzed for several months. Today, he is doing much better and still occasionally performs.

Career Highlights and Accomplishments

Gilley’s first record contract was with Dot Records in 1957. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s and 80s that he became a true star. He signed with Epic Records in 1974 and his career took off. His biggest hit, 1980’s “Stand By Me”, became a chart-topping hit and one of his most enduring songs.

Throughout his career, Gilley released more than 30 albums and had 17 number one hits on the country music charts. He was also inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and continued to tour and perform into his 80s.

Top Songs

Gilley’s musical legacy is not confined to one or two songs; rather, he had many chart-topping hits that continue to be played today. Some of his most famous songs include:

– “Room Full of Roses” (1974)
– “City Lights” (1974)
– “I Overlooked an Orchid” (1974)
– “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time” (1976)
– “Stand by Me” (1980)

Net Worth and Career Milestones

Gilley’s musical career has spanned more than 60 years, and his net worth has reflected his long-term success. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Gilley is worth $20 million as of 2022. Despite his career reaching new heights in the 1980s, Gilley has continued to tour and perform, which has helped keep his music in the public consciousness.

The Legacy of Mickey Gilley

Few musicians can say that they had a lasting impact on the industry; Mickey Gilley is one of those rare acts. His music career spanned decades, and his songs continue to be played on the radio and in honky-tonks across the country.

Beneath his success, Gilley remains humble. In his autobiography “Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley,” he wrote, “I never considered myself talented. Jerry Lee had the natural talent, Jimmy had the gift of gab, and I had the desire to make it.”

Despite his self-effacement, Gilley’s contributions to country music should not be overlooked. His music pushed the boundaries of what was possible in country, rock, and even pop music. Today, he stands as one of the ultimate entertainers in the genre, an iconic figure in the industry.


Mickey Gilley is an American icon of country music. His six-decade musical career is a testament to his unwavering dedication and talent. Despite personal and professional set-backs, Gilley remained resilient, and his music lives on. In an industry that is known for its competitiveness and short tenures, Gilley’s longevity and success are testaments to his groundbreaking artistry and enduring appeal.

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