Country music royalty Pam Tillis to reign at Vilar | VailDaily.com

Country music royalty Pam Tillis to reign at Vilar

Pam Tillis' mantel is lined with three CMA awards, two Grammy Awards and an IBMA award.

More important, though, are the snapshots of family and friends — Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, Clive Davis — the pictures pack the space … it's a crowded mantel.

"Those relationships nurture my music. They're more important than any awards," Tillis said.

Tillis, of course, is country legend Mel Tillis' beloved baby girl and that makes her country music royalty, which is good for a music career.

However, Pam has fought, clawed, written, sang and charmed her way to her own success — which is better. She found her own way in music as a singer and songwriter. You can't talk about country music in the 1990s and not talk about Pam Tillis. Still, she likes what she's doing now.

"I think I'm making the best music I've ever made," she said.

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About a year ago, Tillis did an album with Lorrie Morgan after the two had been on the road together — their Grits and Glamour tour. They didn't plan on an album, but the fans wanted it, so here it is.

Harlan Howard co-wrote her hit "You Can't Tell Me What To Do." Howard, though, is one of the few people who can.

"Daddy's first No. 1 record was written by Harlan Howard. He's one of the key figures in the song-writing community," Tillis said.

Good times, good songs

Sure, she's seen some times. Life happens. She writes music about it.

"I've traveled a million miles in my career," Tillis said. "The next million don't scare me a bit."

A couple of those miles were pretty tough. A horrific car accident left her facing facial reconstruction, and as you can see, she turned out fine.

Her reach also goes beyond the music scene. She starred in Broadway's "Smokey Joe's Cafe," followed by several television and movie appearances. You can find her on the pages of fashion magazines looking like she belongs there.

It's still about the music

Still, it's the music, and always has been.

Her first single hit the charts in 1990. She has 14 top-5 hits, including six that hit No. 1, and has sold more than 6 million records.

She was one of the first women in Nashville to produce her own album, and was the CMA's Female Vocalist of the Year in 1994. She released what she affectionately calls "The Dad Album," a tribute to Mel Tillis called "It's All Relative." And, of course, she's a member of the Grand Ole Opry, inducted in 2000.

"I feel very grateful for the career I've had," she said.

The latest project is "Rhinestoned." It was cut the old-fashioned way: live.

"I'm in my 26th year of touring and I'm playing great places," she said. "I have a reputation of putting on a great show, a show that people enjoy."

You can catch her at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Saturday. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $55.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go …

What: Country music star Pam Tillis

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

How much: $55

More info: Purchase tickets at the VPAC box office, call 970-845-8497, or go to http://www.vilarpac.org.