Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member and Kennedy Center Honoree George Jones died this morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. He was 81. George had been hospitalized since April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure. The exact cause of death is yet to be reported.This is a sad day for country music, and country music fans all around the world.

George Jones is highly regarded among the most important and influential singers in American popular music history. His smooth and original vocals brought him much success. The country music hits George shared with the world included: “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour,” “Walk Through This World With Me,” “Tender Years” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today." "He Stopped Loving Her Today," was considered on the top lists in country industry as one of the greatest country song of all times.

Here's what Bob Allen in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Encyclopedia of Country Music" had to say about George Jones:

“A singer who can soar from a deep growl to dizzying heights, he is the undisputed successor of earlier natural geniuses such as Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell,”

Born in Saratoga, Texas, George played on the streets of Beaumont for tips as a teenager. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before returning to Texas and recording for the Starday label in Houston. In 1955, his “Why Baby Why” became his first Top 10 country single. George would ultimately record more than 160 charting singles, more than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.

Jones is survived by his wife of 30 years Nancy Jones, his sister Helen Scroggins, and by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

God bless you, George Jones. You will be missed!