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George Jones Dies: Country Legend Was 81

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George Jones Dies: Country Legend Was 81
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George Jones, whose music has been so important to country artists for decades, has died after an illness. He was 81.

Jones had been briefly hospitalized during his most recent tour–which was to be his last–for an undisclosed illness. His cause of death has yet to be released.

Jones was introduced to a love of music as a child and began playing guitar at the tender age of nine years old. His early life would take him to many different places–he was married, divorced, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps before he was 20–but he always came back to music. He would go on to have over 150 hit songs during the course of his career and has been called the greatest living country singer of the past 20 years.

Known as much for his love life as he was for the music that lived in him, Jones was married four times and often chronicled his relationships in the songs he wrote. He also battled alcoholism for years and gained a reputation for being unreliable when it came to showing up for gigs. But his wild ways only endeared his fans to him, and his music would be revered, imitated, and loved without bounds by millions of fans.

Sadly, the 2013 tour was to be his last, as Jones announced he wanted to retire and spend time with his family. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and four children.

George Jones Dies: Country Legend Was 81
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