Died: George Jones, Legendary Country and Gospel Singer
Update (April 26): Russell Moore warns against Christians viewing Jones as a hypocrite:
George Jones has died, and I am afraid a lot of people will think he was a hypocrite. George Jones was no hypocrite. He was the troubadour of the Christ-haunted South. The raw emotion, and even whispers of torture, in his voice can teach American Christianity much about the nature of sin and the longing for repentance.
The legendary singer may have been known for his alcohol and drug use, but he also had Christian roots–and a voice well suited to gospel music. The Associated Press reports that Jones had "one of the most golden voices of any genre, a clenched, precise, profoundly expressive baritone."
Jones was raised as a Christian, but in the early parts of his career kept a wild lifestyle which led him to become "infamous for ditching performances after drinking and drug binges." At one point, Jones even wound up in a coma as a result of an alcohol-induced car accident.
But Jones told CBN that he awoke from that coma singing gospel songs: "I wanted some gospel music, and my whole life changed," he said.
Although he said he felt that parts of his life had been wasted, Jones said God kept him alive for a purpose. His main goal in life became to "try to get closer and closer to Him." He recorded an album of gospel songs, and said he was more proud of it than any other album.