It is the last day of my country music ballads countdown, and I truly am saving the best for last. Not only is it my favorite ballad ever, but it is arguably the best and most beautiful country song ever written. However, if you would like to look back at my choices for songs 5-2, you can do so below.
Now, my #1 country ballad is the 1980 George Jones classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today” It was written by a pair of Hall of Fame songwriters, Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman. It rejuvenated “The Possum’s” career, becoming his first #1 in 6 years. After Jones passed away in 2013, it reentered the charts for a week at #21, 30 years after its release. This cemented its place as the signature song of Jones’ legendary career.
The song itself is a tragic love story about a man who is unable to get over a past lover in life. He struggles until his death. His lover comes to see him one more time before his passing, when he “stops loving her.” Jones famously said in interviews that he thought the song was “too damn said” to sell.
Well, thankfully for Jones, and all of us, someone talked him into recording it. The result is below. If this does not hit you right in the feelings, then you are a robot.
The song has been covered by everyone from Tom Jones to Alan Jackson. This broad appeal further drives home its greatness. I could never picture a female voice singing this song. Until… LeAnn Rimes covered it on her 2011 album Lady & Gentlemen. While nothing tops the Grammy nominated original, it is the best cover I have ever heard. I thought it was worth including below. I have enjoyed sharing these great songs with all of you. I will be back to sports blogging soon.