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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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76.

abomb    

RIP,George. A true Hellraiser! And for once, TMZ ,a nice obit. Cool

512 days ago
77.

DeeMaree    

As we lose the REAL country singers, I have to wonder who is there to replace them. Those claiming to be country singers today seem to be more into making songs that sell to the masses not writing and singing the pure music that is country. George Jones fought his demon most of his life but he still put out amazing songs. His music will live on but I will miss him. Condolances to his family.

512 days ago
78.

Sherms    

A true country legend...

512 days ago
79.

Morticia Cowghoul    

Oh no...not the possum!!!!
sad sad day for music.

512 days ago
80.

jen    

R.I.P. George!

512 days ago
81.

Kathy    

Nothing but a drunk who cancelled many shows or went on absolutely blasted out of his mind and ruined the show.

512 days ago
82.

zombie    

Sad. He was a legend.

512 days ago
83.

Kelly     

I grew up listening to George Jones and saw him in concert in Winston-Salem NC. He will truly be missed. May he rest in peace.

512 days ago
84.

Pam Ball    

That's right "Who's gonna fill those shoes"? I don't think it can happen. What a legend!!! Pure Country Superstar....Sure will miss him, grew up listening to him and Tammy Wynette, Golden Rings and He Stopped Loving Her Today. I guess that is all true today. I guess he is seeing those Golden Rings once and for all and Stopped Loving Her Today!

512 days ago
85.

earline    

so sad of his passing he was one of the best country stars ever George you will be miss .

512 days ago
86.

Katieanbrian    

Rip George you will be missed by many people my dad is one of them he has all of your cd and every time i go some wheres with his i get to listen to you Rip you will be missed

512 days ago
87.

Jane    

Sorry to hear George passed away. He was truly the greatest country stars ever. SEMPER FI

jANE

512 days ago
88.

wolf    

True genuine country .

512 days ago
89.

childhood    

Soooo sad grew up with him LOVED him now every song

512 days ago
90.

Fran    

One of the greatest country singers of all time. Loved George Jones.

512 days ago
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