George Jones has died, aged 81.
Jones was reportedly hospitalized at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee with an illness on April 18.
Jones, whose songs included “White Lightening” and “Why Baby Why”, was called “the second best singer in America” by Frank Sinatra.
He released his first album, Grand Ole Opry’s New Star, in 1957. The previous year, he’d been named the Most Promising New Country Vocalist. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, and in 2012 he was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
Born in Saratoga, Texas, Jones was married to Tammy Wynette between 1969 and 1975.
Jones had 143 Top 40 country hits; fourteen of which went to Number One. In 1994, he recorded The Bradley Barn Sessions, which featured a guest appearance from Keith Richards. You can watch Richards talk about playing with Jones below.
In August 2012, he announced ‘The Grand Tour’ – essentially, his farewell tour which was scheduled to conclude on November 22, 2013, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. He was also due to release a duets album with Dolly Parton.