American country singer George Jones, who had a string of number one songs between the 1950s and 1990s, died on Friday. He was 81.

Jones’ publicist, Kirt Webster, said the Grammy-winning singer was admitted to hospital for fever and irregular blood pressure, the BBC reported.

Jones- famously known as Possum- was born in Texas on 12 September 1931 and played guitar for tips on the streets of Beaumont as a teenager before going on to serve in the US Marine Corps.

His signature song was ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’, a track about love and death.

He was known for his precise baritone and evocative voice and his first number one song, ‘White Lightning’, came in 1959, followed by ‘Tender Years’ in 1961.

‘Country’ star Garth Brooks paid tribute to the singer saying: “The greatest voice to ever grace country music will never die. Jones has a place in every heart that ever loved any kind of music.”

Jones’ battle with alcoholism and cocaine addiction frequently derailed his career and at one point his reputation for cancelling performances earned him the nickname No-Show Jones.

Paying tribute to the singer on Twitter, Keith Urban said: “If I’m blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!!”

“We lost one of the best voices God created this morning. Our hearts are saddened to hear that George Jones has passed away… Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy and all of the family,” singer Faith Hill wrote.

Jones was in the middle of a US tour when he was taken into hospital. (ANI)


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