This week country music lost one of its greatest voices, George Jones. Jones was one of the most beloved performers in country because of the emotion he imbued in his songs. His voice, which was just rough enough to complement the music and soft and gentle, whenever the song demanded it, earned him a place in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Not only that, but Jones had the accomplishment of having number one songs in five consecutive decades. His music transcended the country genre and the generational gap.

Country superstar Alan Jackson – who had known Jones for years – told TMZ: “Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music," adding: "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."

Indeed, while being revered for his musical capabilities, Jones also had his share of problems with heartbreak and substance abuse. Part of the appeal of his emotive music was that it came from a very real and personal place. George Jones sang of his own lost loves and his own self destruction and the personal quality of his music was what redeemed him in the eyes of friends and colleagues. He died of respiratory failure at the age of 81. His family, fans and colleagues mourn his passing.

George Jones, Silverton Hotel Las Vegas
The country legend continued performing into his final years.