As thousands of fans packed the Grand Ole Opry House for a star-studded tribute to George Jones Thursday, the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards issued his own remembrance of the country icon.
“I cannot express the emptiness I feel,” he said in a statement. “George was as country as it can get, but he was beyond any bag you want to put him in. He was pure American music without ever waving a flag.”
Richards went on to point out that even Frank Sinatra considered Jones the second-best singer ever, behind only “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself.
Keith and George first recorded together for Jones' The Bradley Barn Sessions in 1994, and remained friends ever since.
“I truly loved ‘the possum,’" Richards said. "He was a crazy as me, and just as free… and, oh boy, could he hang."
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