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George Jones, admired country music superstar, dies at 81

Country music superstar George Jones, who was best known for his hit classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," died Friday at 81.
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Country music legend George Jones and his NATD Award during the 2012 NATD Honors at The Hermitage Hotel on November 14, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. Jones died on Friday after a stay at a hospital. He was 81. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Country music superstar George Jones, who was best known for his hit classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," died Friday. He was 81.

Jones was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center on April 18 with high fever and irregular blood pressure.

News of his death spread quickly Friday morning, and his country peers paid tribute.

"The greatest voice to ever grace country music will never die," Garth Brooks said in an email to the Associated Press. "Jones has a place in every heart that ever loved any kind of music."

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Ronnie Dunn, of famed country duo Brooks & Dunn, added: "The greatest country blues singer to ever live."

Jones's recording spanned 50 years and, along with "He Stopped Loving Her Today," he had many No. 1 singles, including "White Lightning" and "She Thinks I Still Care." He won two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Nicknamed Possum for his close-set eyes and pointed nose, he was also referred to as No-Show Jones later on in his career for the concerts he missed while on drinking and drug binges during his legendary battles with substance abuse.

The country legend was married four times, including once to fellow country star Tammy Wynette, and another time to Nancy Sepulvado, his last wife and longest lasting marriage.

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