Monday, June 17, 2024

George Jones’ Passing: Reactions from Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, More


Here are some reactions to the passing of George Jones today. I’d like to say I did this myself, but very capable country press agent Kirt Webster compiled all this, and I thought Jones’s fans would like to see it. I think the Jones family would be touched about how much George’s death made an impact today. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten.

“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 all his family and friends.”
— Dolly Parton

“The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen.”

“Today is a sad day in Country music.  We have lost another piece of history.  George Jones was not only a good singer, but was a good friend.  He will be missed by many.”
— Hank Williams Jr.

“I am very thankful I got to know George, he’s one of the greatest singers that ever lived.  I actually loved the man and really enjoyed the time I got to spend with he and Nancy.”
— Randy Travis

“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.”
— Kenny Rogers

“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.”
— Collin Raye

“There’s a huge emptiness in the music world today from the passing of our good friend George Jones. But, the void is filled with the many memories that will be with us forever. We love you, George.”
— The Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen

“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.”
— Barbara Mandrell


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

“I am just devastated by the news that George Jones has passed away! The music world has lost one of the most original and innovative talents that the world has ever known. I feel such a personal loss of not only one of the greatest vocal influences of my life, but also I’ve lost a dear friend. Visits with George have always been full of joy and laughter. Every time I would see him, George would always greet me with a funny story or a joke! His legacy will put his name at the top of the most influential artists in history, right along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. His voice will be influencing singers 100 years from now and beyond! I’m reminded of the lyrics that Waylon wrote in the tune ‘It’s Alright.’ ‘If we all sang like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones!'”
— Travis Tritt

‘We are deeply saddened by the news this morning of the passing of our friend, George Jones. Our company was privileged to have represented George Jones in the 1980’s, most notably during the critically acclaimed ‘Reunion’ tour of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.  We will miss this ICONIC songwriter and his unmistakable voice, but he will live on in our hearts.’
— Jim Halsey, Impresario

“I’m shocked and saddened at the passing of my friend and hero George Jones. I was honored to have toured and recorded with him. Our hearts go out to Nancy and the entire family. ‘Now I Wonder Who’s Gonna Fill his Shoes?’”
— TG Sheppard

“I was saddened to learn of George’s passing.  Along with being one of the greatest singers of our time, he was a sweet man who was always kind to me.  Please know that I am praying for you during this special time of loss.  If there is anything at all that you need from me please let me know.  Our prayers will continue for you throughout the days ahead.”
— Guy Penrod

“Today is a dark for country music and music in general.  George had become a friend and mentor to us. We will always remember touring with him and how both he and Nancy were so welcoming to us.  Rest in peace George… No one will ever fill your shoes!”
— The Roys

“Country music has lost one of the great ones today with the passing of George Jones. Rest in peace ‘Possum’, heaven has a new angel.”
— Lisa Matassa

“George Jones was just as impressive as a person as he was as an entertainer. He was ‘the ordinary, down to earth guy that happens to live down the road’ and a super star entertainer of which there will never be an equal.” His passing is a sad day and a great loss for us all.”
— Michael Bonagura of Baillie & The Boys

“His voice will live on forever in my heart. There will never be another!”
—Kathie Baillie of Baillie & The Boys

“George was the greatest country singer of all time and was featured in my NANCY comic strip many times. I’ll find the words….along with the pictures…to pay tribute to George in the comic strip soon, but today, I join all of Nashville and the Country Music world in sending prayers of comfort and love to Nancy and the Jones family.”
— Guy Gilchrist

“George Jones was one of the most endearing, warm and friendly people I have ever had the privilege to meet. I have been lucky enough to work with George and Nancy and I am so blessed to have been a small part of their lives for a short time. While I am deeply saddened, I know his legend will live on.”
— Janie Fricke

“I have no words to express my admiration and love for George Jones. To say he was my ‘hero’ does not do justice to the lifetime impression he made on me, both personally and professionally.  George Jones is the foundation of country music and he’s the reason I wanted to perform.  He’s the reason I’m still here in this business… out there on the road.  He was my mentor and my teacher; George was my friend.  He paved the way for so many and I was one of the lucky ones to have enjoyed the opportunity to not only sing beside him, but just ‘sit and visit’ with him.  When I was just starting out, we toured together; he was the headliner. After a few shows, he told me that I was going to close the shows (because he wanted to watch “Andy Griffith”).  For a newcomer, it was intimidating to open for him; there was even more pressure to close for him. George gave me strength and encouragement; he kept telling me ‘you can do it, son.’  George Jones is the Father of Country.  We will all miss his voice, and I will miss his voice to call me ‘son.'”
— Mark Chesnutt

“I’ll never forget the incredible experience of singing with George and I will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and down to earth soul. Before I wrote the liner note for his Ladies Choice album, I said a prayer for the right words to a worthy quote that would come close to reflecting the way I feel about George. Here is that quote and it will always be true.
“We are all God’s own individual works of art. In country music, George Jones is his masterpiece…”
— Deborah Allen

“Country music lost an icon today and I have lost a dear and beloved friend. With tear-filled eyes, I’m reminiscing this morning about all that I learned from and loved about George Jones.  He was part of my ‘country music education;’ he made country music history and, in my opinion, George Jones is a song’s best friend.  No one will leave an imprint on my life like George did.”
— Lorrie Morgan

“The first 8-tracks that I owned were recordings by Conway Twitty and George Jones.  Long before my career got started, I was at a concert (Travis Tritt’s homecoming show) and George Jones performed.  I sat there and sang along to every word that George sang. A lady, who sat in front of me, turned around and said, ‘do you know George Jones’ music?’  When my reply was, ‘heck yeah,’ she introduced herself; it was his wife, Nancy.  Nancy brought me backstage that night to introduce me to George.  That was three years before I signed my record deal and we’ve remained friends and stayed in touch since then.  Right or wrong, in good times and in bad, people loved George Jones–he made an impression.  His music is his legacy and he will not only be remembered as the best country singer this world will ever know, but a great man that we all will truly miss.”
— Mark Wills

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

Grand Ole Opry ‏@opry
The music will never stop playing. Thank you, George and we will miss you. @gjpossum  #RememberingJones

Lee Brice ‏@leebrice
Country music lost a great one today! @gjpossum will be missed…

Mark Chesnutt ‏@MarkChesnutt
My heart goes out to Nancy and the family. I’m gonna miss him.

Toby Keith ‏@TobyKeithMusic
George Jones has passed. Damn. Thought he’d live forever. Let’s break out his catalogue and play it all day Godspeed possum and family. – T

Clint Black ‏@Clint_Black
@gjpossum Very sad farewell to George Jones. Deepest sympathies to Nancy and the family.

Lee Greenwood ‏@TheLeeGreenwood
Blessed 2 have worked with heroes like Conway, Cash & @gjpossum. Their star burns so bright. When it goes out, there’s a void in our hearts.

Ricky Skaggs ‏@RickySkaggs
“THE Country Music singer of all time. The words ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes’ has never been more true than today.”-Ricky Skaggs @gjpossum

ALABAMA ‏@TheAlabamaBand
We’re very saddened to hear of the death of our amazing friend George Jones.

Shooter Jennings ‏@ShooterJennings
Nothing to say except George Jones will be missed. He was an incredible soul, inspiration, friend. Greatest singer of all time.

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

Gloriana ‏@glorianatheband
Sad day for country music. Rest in peace, George Jones.

Michelle Branch ‏@michellebranch
George Jones :*( R.I.P.

Tracy Lawrence ‏@tracy_lawrence
I am so saddened by the news of George Jones’ passing.I will always treasure our times together.  RIP @gjpossum

Easton Corbin ‏@eastoncorbin
What a sad day for country music. George Jones was one of my heroes.

Merle Haggard ‏@merlehaggard
The world may have lost the greatest country singer that ever lived.

Joe Bonsall ‏@joebonsall
Goodbye Possum

Kenny Rogers ‏@_KennyRogers
Sad morning losing the great George Jones. He will always be one of the most amazing singers who ever lived. …

EliYoungBand ‏@EliYoungBand
RIP George “Possum” Jone

Rodney Atkins ‏@RodneyAtkins
Sending prayers & love to Nancy & the whole Jones family & all of @gjpossum’s fans & friends. George Jones was a true country music legend

ali landry ‏@alilandry
RIP George Jones. His music was the soundtrack of my childhood. My whole family were huge fans. What a legend:(

Johnny Knoxville ‏@realjknoxville
George Jones R.I.P. You will be missed. xoxo

Dolly Parton ‏@Dolly_Parton
My heart is absolutely broken. George Jones was my all time favorite singer…

Rob Thomas ‏@ThisIsRobThomas
R.I.P. to a true country/american legend, George Jones. thanx for the music.

Billy Ray Cyrus ‏@billyraycyrus
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

Sara Evans ‏@saraevansmusic
So saddened to hear of George Jones’ passing. He was an idol of mine and a true legend! One of the best voices of a…

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

Neal McCoy ‏@NealMcCoy
We lost a great man today,, but his Music and his Spirit will live forever Go get some Rest now George Jones,,, you deserve it

The Band Perry ‏@thebandperry
Country music and the world lost a true legend today… Mr. Jones, you will be greatly missed.

Hillary Scott ‏@HillaryScottLA
Saddened by the passing of George Jones. Sending prayers up for his wife and family. Country Music will never be the same.

Troy Aikman ‏@TroyAikman
Country music legend George Jones has passed away at 81. “The Possum” was one of my favorites…had the pleasure of meeting him years ago.

Alan Jackson ‏@OfficialJackson
Heaven better get ready for George Jones. He will always be the greatest singer of real country music – there’ll never be another.

The Oak Ridge Boys ‏@oakridgeboys
We are devastated this morning … We have lost The Possum… Legend and Friend… RIP George Jones

LeAnn Rimes Cibrian ‏@leannrimes
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.

Dierks Bentley ‏@DierksBentley

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

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

Darrell Waltrip ‏@AllWaltrip
this is one of the saddest days in the history of country music, George Jones is a national treasure, he was a friend, God Bless the possum

Martina McBride ‏@martinamcbride
So sad to hear about George Jones . His voice and music will be with us forever. Thoughts go out to all his family, friends and fans.

Craig Morgan ‏@cmorganmusic
We will miss our friend Mr George Jones RIP

John Rich ‏@johnrich
Every serious country artist in the past 30 years has some #georgejones dna in their blood and music. My God. We’ve lost our Elvis.

Tim McGraw ‏@TheTimMcGraw
Gone …… George Jones … he was country music

Faith Hill ‏@FaithHill
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.

Bo Bice ‏@OfficialBoBice
@gjpossum gonna take the day off from tweeting in memory of George, breaking out my Vinyl GJ & jam till midnight.

Bo Bice ‏@OfficialBoBice
George Jones passed away this morning. We will miss ya Possum. There will never be another!! Make them angels weep up there GJ.

Brad Paisley ‏@BradPaisley
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.

Jason_Aldean ‏@Jason_Aldean
So sad to hear abt the passing of George Jones. Country music has lost one of our pioneers & legendary icons. You will never be forgotten.

Kix Brooks ‏@KixBrooks
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!

Dierks Bentley ‏@DierksBentley
nancy and @gjpossum had a beautiful marriage and special relationship. love you nancy. long live the possum. gonna miss my buddy. real sad.

Bob Kingsley ‏@bobkingsleyct40
RIP @gjpossum All of us at CT40 express our deep sorrow to his wife Nancy & to his family, his friends, & his fans. …

Sheryl Crow ‏@SherylCrow
Such a sad day… May you Rest in Peace George Jones. @gjpossum

bretmichaels ‏@bretmichaels
#RIPGeorgeJones … – My heartfelt prayers go out the family, friends and fans of George Jones. @gjpossum

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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