When it comes to country music, George Jones was The Voice.
Other great singers have come and gone, but this fact remained inviolate until Jones passed away Friday at 81 in a Nashville hospital after a year of ill health.
"Today someone else has become the greatest living singer of traditional country music, but there will never be another George Jones," said Bobby Braddock, the Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter who provided Jones with 29 songs over the decades. "No one in country music has influenced so many other artists."
That voice helped Jones achieve No. 1 songs in four separate decades, 1950s to 1980s. And its qualities were admired by more than just his fellow country artists but by Frank Sinatra, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, James Taylor and countless others.
His signature song was "He Stopped Loving Her Today," a weeper among weepers about a man who carries his love for a woman to his grave.
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the death at age 81 of former Chief Justice Moses Harrison.
Harrison began his career on the bench in 1973 as a circuit court judge. He was serving on the 5th District Appellate Court when he was elected to the Supreme Court in 1992. He served as chief justice from 2000 to 2002.
Leo Branton Jr., a lawyer who helped successfully defend radical Angela Davis in a sensational 1972 murder case, has died. He was 91.
George Bunn, a leading figure in the field of arms control who helped draft and negotiate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, limiting the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide, has died at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 87.
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Rick Camp was found dead in his northwest Georgia home.
Camp played with the Braves from 1976 to 1985 and went 56-49 with a 3.37 ERA in 65 starts and 349 relief appearances.
Sam Williams, the former Detroit Lions defensive end who also played for the Rams and Falcons, has died. He was 82.
Laurie Kay, a South African pilot best known for flying a Boeing 747 passenger jet low over a Johannesburg stadium before the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, has died at the age of 67.
Robert W. Edgar, who represented Pennsylvania for six terms in the House of Representatives and went on to lead the public interest group Common Cause, has died at 69.
Edgar collapsed Tuesday morning in the basement of his home in Burke after a run on the treadmill, said his wife of 48 years, Merle Edgar.
Edgar, a liberal Democrat, was elected in 1974 in a large class of newcomers that came to Washington following the Watergate scandal.
Jagdish Sharan Verma, the former Indian chief justice who helped lead the charge for tough new laws to protect women in the wake of a gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus, has died. He was 80.
Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, has died at age 72.
Havens was known for his crafty guitar work and cover songs, including his well-received cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman."
His performance at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival, where headliners included Jimi Hendrix, was a turning point in his career. He was the first act to hit the stage, performing for nearly three hours. His performance of "Freedom," based from the spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," became an anthem.
Chrissy Amphlett, the raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York City. She was 53 years old.
E.L. Konigsburg, an author who twice won one of the top honors for children's literature, has died. She was 83.
She won the John Newbery Medal in 1997 for her book "The View from Saturday" and in 1968 for "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler." The Newbery is one of the top honors for children's literature. Her family says she wrote 16 children's novels and illustrated 3 picture books.
Billionaire Robert Earl Holding, whose business empire included ownership of Sinclair Oil and two world-class ski resorts in the West, has died. He was 86.