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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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1.

terri    

So sad to hear of his passing. He was truly one of the all time greatest country stars ever. He Stopped Loving Her Today is quite possibly the best song he ever did. George, you will be missed.

364 days ago
2.

Loves you    

RIP George Jones. Country music sure went down the crapper since your day

364 days ago
3.

mrharrybawls2012    

Any man that beats a woman is not worth mourning....at all. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

364 days ago
4.

JennyLH    

Rest in peace Mr. Jones. You'll always be a legend.

364 days ago
5.

JennyLH    

Tennessee Whiskey and White Lightnin' were my favorites. And Golden Rings. Loved him=(

364 days ago
6.

YouDontSay    

RIP. I always tear up when he sings He stopped loving her today.

364 days ago
7.

Meanie    

RIP Mr Jones. (Wonder if he'll show up for his own funeral) - and for those who don't know GJ, they won't get this.

364 days ago
8.

Reyna38    

Who cares.... He was old.... Stop talking about those who are older than dirt talk about those who. Are younger than 40

364 days ago
9.

Robotnik    

My mom's idol. We saw him in concert twice. The absolute best artist ever in country music. Like he sang, "Whose gonna fill their shoes?" The answer is no one. RIP

364 days ago
10.

Liberaltastic@yahoo.com    

Very sad. Rest in peace George.

364 days ago
11.

Joel    

He probably swerved into a tree...

364 days ago
12.

Liberaltastic@yahoo.com    

Rest in peace George.

364 days ago
13.

Carol    

I grew up listening to no show Jones. One of my dads favorites. I still love Real country music. Not the stuff they make today and try to pass off as country.RIP George.

364 days ago
14.

LK    

R.I.P.
I SEEN PERFORM ONCE .

364 days ago
15.

Faye    

One of my favorites for many years. RIP George Jones. You'll be remembered through your everlasting contribution to country music.

364 days ago
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