Jones recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. —Photo (File) AP
Jones accepts his Country Music Hall of Fame award from Randy Travis, left, during the Country Music Association Awards show in 1992. —Photo (File) AP
George Jones (R) is pictured with the late Tammy Wynette at the Country Music Association Awards in 1995. —Photo (File) Reuters
George Jones poses with the Grammy he won for best male country vocal performance of “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. —Photo (File) AP
Garth Brooks, left, and George Jones, center, perform their duet “Beer Run” at the Country Music Association Awards show in Nashville in 2001. —Photo (File) A
In this 1997 file photo, Country music veteran George Jones performs with 14-year-old newcomer LeAnn Rimes during the opening segment of the TNN-Music City News Country Awards show. —Photo (File) AP
WASHINGTON: Country music legend George Jones, singer of such enduring hits as “She Thinks I Still Care” during a career that spanned more than half a century, died on Friday, his publicist said. He was 81.
He passed away at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, eight days after he was admitted to hospital with fever and irregular blood presssure, said Webster and Associates on its website.
Married from 1969 to 1975 to Tammy Wynette, the “Stand By Your Man” songstress who died in 1998, Jones scored his first hit in 1959 with “White Lightnin’” which topped the Billboard charts for five weeks.
The Texas native went on to record more than 160 charting singles, more than any popular music star of any genre, including several hits with Wynette such as “We’re Gonna Hold On”.
Jones’ personal life was long haunted by drugs and alcohol, but he credited his marriage to Nancy Ford Sepulvado in 1983, who survives him, for turning his life around and breathing new vigor into his career.
His long list of honors included membership in Nashville’s esteemed Grand Ole Opry, a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame and, in 2008, a Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement.
Last year Jones announced a farewell tour that ended in November with a sell-out concert in Nashville with a galaxy of fellow country stars including Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels and Kenny Rogers.