How George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” Single-Handedly Saved His Career

He thought no one would ever want to play the melancholy song. He was clearly mistaken, but why did he hate the song so much? 

Perhaps the song hit too close to home for the country singer. In 1980, substance abuse wrecked his professional and personal life. And with the song revolving around love so powerful that only death can end it, Jones thought the song was too long and depressing.

Eventually, after two years, Jones and Sherrill went on to record the song. But still, on the mend from his addiction, Jones had a difficult time performing the entire song. 

Fortunately, Sherrill was able to piece together portions of Jones’ many recordings and bathed the song with technique and flair that birthed life right into it.  

The results were magnanimous. Jones received a Grammy for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance,” and the song won CMA “Song of the Year” for two years straight. 

As Jones puts it, “a four-decade career was salvaged by a three-minute song.” In other words, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was able to single-handedly save George Jones’ career. 

Listen to George Jones‘ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” below. 

2 of 2Next
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse