George Jones, country music legend and one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, died at age 81 today (April 26) after complications from a fever. According to Billboard, Jones recorded over 150 albums during his five-decade career, which is simply astounding, even viewed from today’s mixtape universe.
Known as The Possum, Jones’ tumultuous relationships, troubles with alcohol and ability to channel it all into song became the embodiment of country music. Born in Texas in 1931, he released his first single, “No Money in This Deal,” in 1954 and charted with his follow-up, “Why, Baby, Why,” the following year. His first number one hit came in 1959 with “White Lightning.” Jones eventually married Tammy Wynette after divorcing his second wife in 1968. The marriage to Wynette was rocky as well, ending in divorce in 1975, but the pair continued to sing together after the split.
Head below to watch Jones perform the legendary 1980 ballad, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” often cited as the greatest country music song of all time.