Country singer George Jones died April 26 in Nashville. Jones had been hospitalized earlier in the month with a fever and irregular blood pressure, though no cause of death has been released. He was 81. Jones rose to become one of country music's most legendary voices. He scored No. 1 country songs across several decades, from the '50s through the '80s. Jones' hits included "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Race Is On," "A Good Year For The Roses," and a series of hits in the '70s with his then-wife Tammy Wynette, which made the couple among the biggest stars in country music at the time. He won two GRAMMY Awards, the first coming in 1980 for his now-classic hit "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which was named Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, and the second in 1999 in the same category for "Choices." He was presented a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and two of his recordings have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, including "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (inducted in 2007). In addition to being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, in 2008 Jones was among the artists recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. Jones survived alcohol and drug addiction and a serious car accident in 1999 to build one of the most towering legacies in country music.
“Two-time GRAMMY Award winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient George Jones was a true icon of country music," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "His legacy will continue to be celebrated for generations to come, and our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to his family, his friends and all of his fans who were lifted and inspired by his music.”