Country Music Legend George Jones Dies at 81

george-jones

“Me and the bottle have always been friends, we’ve had a few old nasty fights but the bottle would always win. So when I go to answer that final curtain call, I can hear these words being whispered by all… Ol’ George stopped drinking today.” — George Jones

George Jones, aka, The Possum, has died at age 81.

george-jonesWhile in the midst of his 60-date farewell tour, Jones was hospitalized for running a slight fever and for having irregular blood pressure, canceling shows in both Atlanta, and Salem, VA. His next show was to be tomorrow, April 27th, in Huntsville, AL. George had been suffering from breathing problems for the last few years. A family member told TMZ, “”He has been on oxygen for a long while now and his lungs finally just couldn’t do it anymore and they collapsed and he passed away. He couldn’t breathe anymore on his own.”

The official cause of death has been named ‘Hypoxic Respiratory Failure.’

George died this morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee where he’d been hospitalized on April 18th. He is survived by four children and his wife of 30 years, Nancy. Jones was married a total of 4 times, including to fellow country music legend Tammy Wynette from 1969 to 1975.

George Jones was born in Saratoga, TX, and went on to record more than 150 country albums and have 14 #1 country hits. Dubbed “The Possum” by some for his marsupial look, and “No Show Jones” by others for a well-documented period of alcohol and drug abuse, George had one of the smoothest voices to ever grace country music. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956, and was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor in 2008.

Read Country Star’s Reactions to the Death of George Jones

Quotes About George Jones

“If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones,” — Waylon Jennings

“The second best singer in America” — Frank Sinatra

“The greatest voice to ever sing country music.” — Garth Brooks

“You can’t define the ache that’s in George’s voice. It’s just something inherently him. It doesn’t need definition. It doesn’t need clarification. It doesn’t need a lot of things. You just sit back and appreciate it. It’s just greatness.” — Vince Gill

“Anyone who knows or cares anything about real country music will agree that George Jones is the voice of it.” — Dolly Parton

“George Jones is a national treasure and should be treated accordingly. A unique style so often emulated even inadvertently.” — Keith Richards

Quotes From George Jones

“What they need to do really, I think, is find their own title,” — George Jones when asked about Taylor Swift and other young stars

“I’d rather sing a sad song than eat,” — George Jones

“There are questions I’m still not wise enough to answer, just wise enough to no longer ask.” — George Jones

“Be real about what you do. Stay true to the voice inside you. Don’t let the “business” change what it is you love because the people, the fans, respond to what is heartfelt. They can always tell when a singer is faking it.” — George Jones

“Country fans need to support country music by buying albums and concert tickets for traditional artists or the music will just fade away. And that would be really sad.” — George Jones

“Our steak and martinis is draft beer with weenies.” — George Jones

“Country music to me is heartfelt music that speaks to the common man. It is about real life stories with rather simple melodies that the average person can follow. Country music should speak directly and simply about the highs and lows of life. Something that anyone can relate to.” — George Jones

“Me and the bottle have always been friends, we’ve had a few old nasty fights but the bottle would always win. So when I go to answer that final curtain call, I can hear these words being whispered by all… Ol’ George stopped drinking today.” — George Jones