Jones passed away in April of 2013. Friends and family of the late country star gathered at the Grand Ol’ Opry House in May to pay tribute to Jones. At the memorial service, country stars such as Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Kid Rock, Kenny Chesney, and Wynonna Judd would deliver powerful performances to honor Jones.
To close out the memorial, Jackson didn’t leave a dry eye in the room when he sang, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
George Jone’s Influence on Alan Jackson
The two country stars shared a longtime friendship. Jackon has said he considered Jones to be a hero of his. Jackson has also described Jones’s musical influence on him, which is evident in his emotional performance at the funeral.
The admiration is even in Jackson’s lyrics. In his songs, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Murder on Music Row,” he mentions Jackson’s nickname of “Possum.” Jones’ memory lives on through Jackson’s artistry. His emotional storytelling in his lyrics shows how much influence the late star had on Jackson.
Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was an influential song for Jackson’s career, long before becoming a star. In 1986, Jackson performed the song during an episode of “I Can Be a Star” when he was first on the Nashville scene. In 1990, Jackson would make himself known when his song “Here in the Real World” made it onto the country charts.
Soon after becoming a household name, Jackson would forge a friendship with his longtime musical hero. As Jackson’s career flourished, the two would remain friends. The two would continue that friendship via letters and visits up until he died in 2013.
Watch Alan Jackson perform what is arguably known as the saddest country song ever written during Jones’ funeral.