Country singer George Jones dead at 81

Country singer George Jones dead at 81

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George Jones George Jones
Jones performing at an April 6 concert in Knoxville. (Source: Nikkie McGhee) Jones performing at an April 6 concert in Knoxville. (Source: Nikkie McGhee)
Another shot of Jones at the Knoxville performance. (Source: Nikkie McGhee) Another shot of Jones at the Knoxville performance. (Source: Nikkie McGhee)

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

NASHSVILLE (WATE) - Country music legend George Jones passed away Friday morning at the age of 81 in Nashville.

Jones was known for a long list of country hits including "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Grand Tour," and "Walk Through This World With Me."

"What a great performer," said Q93 morning personality Opie Joe. "He was a legend."

The star was also known for his battle with alcoholism and his marriage to country singer Tammy Wynette.

Jones died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being admitted last Thursday for fever and irregular blood pressure.

At the time of his death, Jones was in the midst of his farewell tour, which was scheduled to continue through the fall.

The tour recently made an appearance in Knoxville on April 6 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. It would be his last public performance. Jones entered the hospital just days later.

"It was really cool to be a part of," said Joe. "Here is this guy. It is his final tour and you're getting to see this guy for the last time. You could tell up on stage he was looking a little frail and looked like he wasn't feeling so well. It was good to see him, and glad we did get to see him one final time."

Over the years, Jones made several appearances in East Tennessee.

"People here love George Jones," said Q93 program director Mike Hammond. "I can't forget. We brought him to the Wal-mart in Maryville to do a signing on one of his new CD's. 3,000 people lined up to get his autograph and picture with George Jones."

East Tennessee native and country music star Dolly Parton expressed her condolences to Jones' family on Friday.

"My heart is absolutely broken. George Jones was my all-time favorite singer and one of my favorite people in the world.  My heart goes out to Nancy, Georgette and to his other children, family and friends," Parton said.

Some say George Jones was the greatest country music singer of all time.

"He definitely will be missed," said Hammond. "The influence he had on country music is just unbelievable. People will be listening to George Jones' music 100 years from now because it was that good."

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