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Country superstar George Jones has died at 81

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Legendary county music performer George Jones is dead, but his fans say his music will live on.

Jones died Friday morning at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

He was 81 years old.

Jones' fans say he left a legacy that will never be forgotten.

"George Jones influenced probably at least two generations of country music," said Jeff Meek with WDHR radio.

Jones was known for his unique sound and relatable songs.

"Just a good old boy. That's why people love George," said George Jones fan Ferlin Pruitt.

He left a mark on country music with more than 150 albums and was in the midst of a farewell tour when the news came of his death.

"I'd like to have seen him, but I guess now we'll just have to mourn and think about him," said Pruitt.

Jones is a well known influence on many country music stars.

"He knew how to take a song, he made it his own. He made you feel the emotion of the song," said Meek.

His death leaves a spot in country music many say can never be filled.

Another country legend and Johnson County native Loretta Lynn issued this statement on Friday:

"It's a sad day for country music and a great loss for those of us who knew him. I was blessed to call George my friend. He was one of the best country singers there ever was. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Nancy, and all of his family. It's a sad, sad day."

Loretta and George were the same age.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," has died. He was 81.

Publicist Kirt Webster says Jones died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized with fever and irregular blood pressure.

Known for his clenched, precise baritone, Jones had No. 1 songs in five separate decades, 1950s to 1990s, and was idolized not just by fellow country singers, but by Frank Sinatra, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, James Taylor and countless others.

In a career that lasted more than 50 years, "Possum" recorded more than 150 albums and became the champion and symbol of traditional country music, a well-lined link to his hero, Hank Williams.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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