More details are here:
“Definitely, unequivocally, the best there ever was or will be, period,” is how the Village Voice’s Patrick Carr assessed Mr. Jones’ contribution. Producer Cowboy Jack Clement, a 50-year friend of Jones who has also worked with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and many others said, “I think George is probably the greatest country singer who ever lived. And I’m not alone in that opinion. All the artists loved him. The music just flows out of him. It’s the most natural thing.”
Mr. Jones’ signature song was the Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman-penned “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which regularly lands atop critics’ lists of greatest country recordings. In it, the King of Broken Hearts sang of a man whose death signaled the end of his unrequited love. In the studio, the song was difficult to capture, exacerbated by Mr. Jones’ slurring of the spoken-word portion: When inebriated, he sung more clearly than he spoke. When the recording was finally concluded, Mr. Jones told producer Billy Sherrill, “It ain’t gonna sell. Nobody’ll buy that morbid son of a bitch.”
But they did. Mr. Jones consistently credited Sherrill with the song’s success, but it was the empathy in Mr. Jones’ voice that made the song’s abject sadness somehow palatable.
This is a good, long obituary.
Of course one of his wives was Tammy Wynette.
I doubt anybody will fill his.