"If you're one of those people going, 'I don't know much about this guy,' go figure it out, because there's a reason we're making this ruckus." That is the very last sentence of the George Jones obituary that Brad Paisley wrote for Entertainment Weekly. And it's hard to argue with him, especially after you've read the whole thing.
It's part of the special year-end issue featuring the Best & Worst of 2013. There's an entire section devoted to the Late Greats. But they didn't let just anyone write the obituaries for the ones we lost in 2013. Rather, they had the celebs who knew them best put pen to paper for this 12-page tribute.
And here's what else Paisley had to say about Jones, who died on April 26 at age 81.
"He's the greatest singer country music has ever had, ever will have. It's really a rare thing in any style of music to be able to say that. He was like Sinatra for us," Paisley writes. "George Jones during his lifetime was probably aware that he was regarded as the best singer in country music. It wasn't like he didn't know people said that. But the minute that you start to sense that people are listening to other music and they're not interested in what you're doing, there's always a feeling of, did what I do matter or not?"
Paisley goes on to say that Jones might have sensed how much he was loved. "I think he knew that we all adored him. He knew his wife just loved him beyond what's typically possible for human beings. And in our case, as artists, we all regarded him as if he were in line for sainthood. But he left here probably wondering if people would still be listening to his music."