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George Jones

DEAD at 81

4/26/2013 11:30 AM PDT UPDATED: 4/26/2013 8:51 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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8:51 AM PT --
Country superstar Alan Jackson -- who's known George for years -- tells TMZ ... “Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music."

He adds, "While George was known for his wild and crazy days, I’ve known him for 25 years as a friend. He had grown into a real good man. Of course, he will always be the greatest singer and interpreter of real country music – there’ll never be another."

"Like the song says, ‘You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing. Imagine life without them…Who’s gonna fill their shoes.’”

8:04 AM PT --
George's publicist has released a statement on the singer's passing ... saying, "Today is a sad day for music. George said to me once, 'One day I'll Join the Angel band.' Well, today he did."

The statement continues, "George passed with his family by his side and the official cause of death is being listed as  'Hypoxic Respiratory Failure.'"

FYI -- H.R.F. means the lungs couldn't pump enough oxygen to the rest of the body.

7:44 AM PT --
A family member tells 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."

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George Jones
... the country music megastar whose heartfelt vocals and close-to-home lyrics defined the genre for generations ... died today.  He was 81.

Jones was hospitalized in Nashville on April 18 for a fever and irregular blood pressure, though the cause of death was not immediately released.

Jones was in the middle of a tour -- which he announced would be his last -- when he fell ill. Several dates had already been canceled.

Jones' towering influence on country music was equaled only by his public persona ... which often imitated the melodrama in his songs ... and was well-chronicled in the tabloids. He was married four times -- once to Tammy Wynette -- and made countless headlines for drinking, stormy romances and violent rages.

But his star-power in country music cannot be overstated. Jones has charted more country hits than any other artist ... "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is perhaps his biggest, but the list of charted hits is around 150.



He was a Grand Ole Opry member, a Kennedy Center Honoree, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992 ... though given how much influence he had on country music ... they might as well have honored him every year.

Jones' first number one hit was "White Lightning" in 1959.



Jones nearly died in a car wreck in 1999, but recovered and kept his career vibrant right up until his death.

He is survived by four children and his fourth wife of 30 years, Nancy.

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229 COMMENTS

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46.

JASON BARBER    

this is a boldfaced lie because if it were true it would be all over CMT And all over the news

515 days ago
47.

Tom    

Country music has always been a story tellers format and George wrote what many (myself definitely included) consider the truest, most heartfelt song with "He stopped loving her today". I'm sure there/s so many who can identify with the song. George we already miss you.

515 days ago
48.

CorkiDeCat    

I hear a country song in the works...

515 days ago
49.

JUN    

May he rest in peace. A Class Act Indeed

515 days ago
50.

Dale    

Never heard of him???

515 days ago
51.

Judie    

RIP George Jones..Thank you Ms Nancy for sharing him..We'll miss him!!

515 days ago
52.

Terry    

This coming from an 80s rocker George grew on me into my favorite Artist ever. I am so glad I had a chance to see him in concert 3 years ago had trouble carrying notes when he started of with the race is on and the crowd just cheered him on what a great memory it was. Then to see the slide show as he sung no show jones truly epic RIP Gearge

515 days ago
53.

Beverly Barnett    

Oh ! My God ,how sad to hear that the greatest singer in Country music has died ,My heart is broke into pieces. How I loved that man and his voice. My Mother bought an autographed picture of him at a yard sale and put in a frame and sit on a table in the living room as it was our family member and when it comes down to it he was. God Bless and comfort his children and Nancy through this sad time of loss and it's a great one. Nancy thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us to enjoy George as long as we have had. There's no one who can fill his shoes ever never... My thought's and prayers are out there for you all. I'm a fan of 45yr's.

515 days ago
54.

John    

RIP George Jones....


Who's going to fill their shoes now......

515 days ago
55.

Jules    

R.I.P. my good man. Loved you! "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is still the saddest song I've ever heard.

515 days ago
56.

April    

May one of the Greatest RIP.

515 days ago
57.

Cricket    

Sad news. He'll be missed.

515 days ago
58.

DaneDane    

He was my favorite country music singer. I had the privilege of sitting & talking to him& his wife. I will never foeget that day. Love you George. R.I.P.

515 days ago
59.

DaneDane    

He was my favorite country music singer.I had the privilege of sitting & talking to him & Nancy at Logans. I will never forget that day. You will be missed, R.I.P. Love you Much.

515 days ago
60.

Evil Deadite    

Really sad. I just was looking at buying tickets to one of his shows yesterday.

515 days ago
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