[Updated] Nashville Reacts to George Jones’ Passing

George Jones

George Jones

As news of George Jones’ passing hits audiences, the Nashville music industry takes time to share initial thoughts via social media.

MusicRow has gathered a sample of postings from artists and industry who have reflected on the tragedy, thus far. Among this morning’s reactions are postings of various YouTube performances from the Possum’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” including a Keith Urban tribute (below).

An email address has been set up to share your own thoughts, prayers, love and memories with Jones’ widow, Nancy and family.

Mayor Karl Dean: “Like me, I’m sure music fans around the world can’t get “He Stopped Loving Her Today” out of their head on this sad day. Nashville has lost a legend. When I moved to Nashville in 1978, one of the first places I visited was George’s Possum Holler nightclub. It was a great introduction to Nashville. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Nancy, his family and his dear friends.”

George Strait: RIP in George Jones THANK YOU for everything!!

Loretta Lynn: It’s a sad day for country music and a great loss for those of us who knew him. I was blessed to call George my friend. He was one of the best country singers there ever was. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Nancy, and all of his family. It’s a sad, sad day

Barbara Mandrell: I believe if you ask any singer who was the greatest country music singer of all time, they would say ‘George Jones.’ He was without question and by far the BEST! I first met and worked with him when I was 13 years old; I am so very grateful that he was my friend.

Kenny Rogers: “George Jones will always be one of the most amazing singers who ever lived.  He was a true Country Music legend who made music very personal to the listener – I think more than anyone else.  He will be dearly missed, but always remembered.”

Dolly Parton: My heart is absolutely broken. George Jones was my all time favorite singer and one of my favorite people in the world. My heart goes out to Nancy and the rest of his family.

Dierks Bentley: man….heartbroken. Nancy and @gjpossum had a beautiful marriage and special relationship. Love you Nancy. Long live the Possum. Gonna miss my buddy. As sad as I am, I know my friend Terry Eldredge @TheGrascals is devastated. No bigger fan. Many nights listening to Jones together. #thedoor

Trisha Yearwood: The Yearwood/Brooks household is sad today. Rest in peace, George Jones. Our hearts go out to Nancy and family. There are some shoes that just can’t be filled…

Vince Gill: There aren’t words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness. I’ll miss my kind and generous friend.

Easton Corbin: “I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of my all time heroes, George Jones. Georges’ music was real and he was able to touch thousands through his songs. Not only was he a great singer, but he also had the ability to make you relate to every one of his songs, no matter who you are. He and his music will remain timeless in the world of country music. My thoughts and prayers are with his family through this difficult time.”

Bill Anderson: So sad to hear the news about George Jones’ passing. He was the definitive country singer, and I was proud to call him a friend. Who’s gonna fill his shoes? Nobody….at least not for a long, long time. Rest in peace, my friend.

Reba: My prayers go out to Nancy Jones today. Her partner and husband George Jones passed this morning. We’ll miss George very much. RIP.

Blake Shelton: Really REALLY bad news. We’ve lost a country music legend. And I’ve lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones…

Little Big Town: There will never be another George Jones. You are and always will be country music. Rest in peace. #GeorgeJones

Faith Hill: 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.

Luke Bryan: George. You will be deeply missed. Thanks for the beautiful memories.

Carrie Underwood: Prayers going to George Jones’ family today. Rest in piece, George. You are loved and will be missed greatly.

Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts: “He was the greatest country vocalist that ever lived! Through the years we have all tried to emulate the passion in his voice, but no one can fill his shoes.”

Brad Paisley: My friend, the greatest singer of all time, has passed. To those who knew him, our lives were full. To those of you who don’t: discover him now. George Jones’ life is an example of so many wonderful things; How someone’s God-given gifts can make this a richer, better place. How one human being can overcome adversity, addiction, and life threatening obstacles time and time again. That it is not the stumble or fall that counts, but the willingness to stand again. How a keen sense of humor and a twinkle in a person’s eye can still prevail even after all of life’s hard knocks. How mistakes, missteps, and bad choices are not the end of the world if a person chooses to turn them into something good. And George’s life is above all the strongest example of how the love of a great woman can get a man through anything. All of this made its way beautifully into every note of the greatest voice country music will ever know and one of the greatest friends you could ever have. We miss you already, George.

Jo Dee Messina: Ugh! Thoughts and prayers go out to the jones family. Such sad news to wake up to. Heavy heart today.

Alan Jackson: Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music. 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’ll always be the greatest singer and interpreter of real country music – there’ll never be another. Like the song says, ‘You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing. Imagine life without them…Who’s gonna fill their shoes.”

Martina McBride: So sad to hear about George Jones. His voice and music will be with us forever. I really think George Jones’s voice was country music. “I’ve spent so many hours listening to George, and he just knew his way around a country song,” said McBride to ABC News Radio. “There’s a lot of people that can sing country music, but there’s something about George, his voice, he just knew what to do with a country song. To make it come alive, and to have so much emotion, and just make you feel it. Thoughts go out to all his family, friends and fans.”

The Henningsens: “We are saddened by the news of George Jones passing today. Like many artists, he was one of our all time heroes. This is truly a loss for country music.

Alabama: We’re very saddened to hear of the death of our amazing friend George Jones. George was an all time great in country music and it won’t be the same without him. We’re thankful for his life and we’ll miss him very much.

Ashley Monroe: Wow.. Sweet George SURE will be missed down here.. But I can only imagine the celebration Heaven is having today..

Blair Garner: RIP George Jones. Passed at 81. Your music, sir, will keep you alive forever. #timeless

Garth Brooks: The greatest voice to ever grace country music will never die.

John Rich: The world will miss the great #georgejones A giant has passed on. Proud to say we were true friends. Who’s gonna fill his shoes? Nobody.

Shane McAnally: Thank you, George Jones, for…well…everything.

NotJakeOwen: As the riding mower approached the Pearly Gates, Hank, Keith and Waylon said ‘Don’t mind him St. Pete, he’s with us.’ RIP Possum

Kix Brooks: Possum, angels got a serious lead singer today – God bless Nancy his loving wife – what a guy- what a voice – that was one hell of a show!

Ronnie Dunn: The greatest country blues singer to ever live

LeAnn Rimes: So sad we lost “the possum” today. R.I.P George Jones and know we didn’t stop loving you today. You will live on forever in our hearts.

Collin Raye: “Country music and the world will miss George Jones.  He was someone who set a high standard in our industry for great music and lyrics that tapped into the emotions of the human heart at a very deep level.  His music has touched the lives of country music lovers for over five decades. My prayers are with his family and I pray for the repose of his soul.  May you rest in peace, brother.”

Tracy Lawrence: I am so saddened by the news of George Jones’s passing. He was a wonderful friend and I will always treasure the times we had together. My thoughts and prayers are with Nancy and the entire family. George left a tremendous mark on Country music and inspired us all. I will miss him. God Bless you George.

Ricky Skaggs: THE Country Music singer of all time. The words ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes’ has never been more true than today.

Larry Gatlin: Years ago someone asked Coach Bum Phillips if Earl Campbell was in a class by himself. Bum replied, ‘Well if he ain’t, it sure don’t take long to check roll.’ I say the same of the late great George Jones. Rest in peace POSSUM. You were always kind to me… THANKS.

Sammy Kershaw: George Jones has been a major part of my personal and professional life for a long time. I have been inspired by his music for the last 50 years and for 42 of those, I had the pleasure of knowing him personally and professionally. He was IT to me. George was and will always be my guy. I am luckier than a lot of people on this Earth because God let me be a part of George’s life and him a part of mine. And on this day, his song couldn’t be more true: ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’

Mel Tillis: I met George when he came to Nashville and we became good friends. I’m really going to miss him. The world has lost the greatest singer to have ever lived.

Ray Stevens: George Jones may be gone but his music will live on forever. What a great voice and a great friend.

Pam Tillis: Country music as we know it would be vastly different if it weren’t for George Jones. He’s in our musical DNA. All country artists will have to figure out how to even begin to live up to his kind of legacy. ‘Honky Tonk Heaven,’ here he comes… though we’re not ready to let go.

Restless Heart: The greatest most soulful voice in history is gone. RIP George Jones… the guys of Restless Heart will miss you greatly.

The Marshall Tucker Band (Doug Gray): We met George many times over the past 50 years. This is a terrible loss for his family, friends, the country music industry and the world. He’s the most identifiable and inspirational country artist that has ever lived.

Billy Dean: George Jones was a mentor and a giant to my generation of country singers. He was there for my first Ralph Emery Show appearance. Backstage I was so nervous and expressed concern to George that if Ralph Emery didn’t like me, my career may never get off the ground. The first thing George said to Ralph when they went on air was how nice of guy he thought I was. George Jones was our country music soul singer, no doubt. Who’s gonna fill those shoes?

The Bellamy Brothers: We’ve lost one of the greatest voices in history. Prayers and condolences to his family.

Sweethearts of the Rodeo: Sharing the same vocal booth with George Jones on ‘Traveller’s Prayer’ was without a doubt THE highlight of our career. He was a true legend, generous and supportive and he will live on and on in our hearts.

Trace Adkins: George Jones was my friend, and I loved him.

Thompson Square: Such a sad say today. We lost one of the greatest country singers to ever live. Rest in peace George…

Charlie Daniels: Rest in peace George Jones There will never be another one like you and we’ll miss you a bunch Buddy.

Billy Ray Cyrus: I’m stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend George Jones. The very definition of a legend. Thoughts and prayers.

Manuel: We at Manuel American Designs are very sad to hear about the passing of the legendary George Jones! A very sad day for country music fans across the world. R.I. P Possum, you will be missed by many. Love to his family in this difficult time.

Keith Urban: If I’m blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!!


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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