From USA Today
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — George Jones, whose supple Texas voice conveyed heartbreak so profound that he became perhaps the most imitated singer in country music, died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized with high fever and irregular blood pressure. He was 81.
Hank Williams may have set country music's mythology and Johnny Cash its attitude, but Jones gave the genre its ultimate voice. With recordings that spanned 50 years, including Number One singles White Lightning, She Thinks I Still Care and He Stopped Loving Her Today, Jones influenced generations of country singers and was considered by many to be the greatest of them all.
Jones' life also included legendary battles with substance abuse, mostly alcohol, and four marriages, including one to fellow singer Tammy Wynette and another, his last and longest, to Nancy Sepulvado.
Ultimately, though, it was that voice that won Jones two Grammys, got him into the Country Music Hall of Fame and made him an American musical icon. That plaintive voice that seemed to break down at will and wallow in sorrow. That voice of honky-tonk eloquence that held tortured echoes of heroes like Williams, Roy Acuff and Lefty Frizzell. That finely nuanced voice that offered thrill rides of emotions, with twists and turns, slippery, bending notes and sudden drops.
Jones' performances weren't just an emotional rollercoaster, they were the whole theme park.