Jones, a native of Saratoga, Texas, began his recording career in the 1950s and charted his first Top 10 country single, "Why Baby Why," in 1955. "The Possum" would go on to record more than 160 charting singles, more than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.
Jones's catalog is filled with beloved classics such as "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "She Thinks I Still Care," and "Walk Through This World With Me"; as well as duets with former wife Tammy Wynette such as "Golden Ring."
He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, and was a Kennedy Center Honoree. He has won a score of awards for his work, including numerous accolades from the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music, as well as several Grammys.
Jones was survived by his wife of 30 years, Nancy, as well as his children and grandchildren, sister, and nieces and nephews.
The country music community exploded on Twitter upon news of Jones's passing, with dozens of artists expressing their sorrow.
The world may have lost the greatest country singer that ever lived. twitter.com/merlehaggard/s…— Merle Haggard (@merlehaggard) April 26, 2013