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Watch George Jones’ Final Performance of ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ [VIDEO]

A video has emerged of George Jones performing the last song in his final show on April 6, 2013 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tenn. Jones finished the show with his epic hit, ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’

The 81-year-old was on what was supposed to be his farewell tour when he performed the concert. But unbeknownst to everyone else, the Possum had a feeling his health would prohibit him from continuing the multi-city trek.

“I just did my last show,” Jones told his wife, Nancy after he left the stage,. “And I gave ’em hell.”

The Country Music Hall of Fame member appears to be struggling with his breathing while performing his final song, sitting down halfway through the tune. He entered the hospital one day later with a respiratory infection, and remained in the hospital until he passed away on April 26.

His widow knew his health was declining, and tried to persuade him to stay home, to no avail. “I begged him to come off that road, and he would not,” she recalls. “He lowered all the keys and tried really, really hard. I would say, ‘Just stop it,’ and he said, ‘In my mind, I think of all those old mamas that saved their money for me, and I was a no-show.’ In the last year, the fans never complained. They knew he was weak, and they knew he was leaving. He just wanted to prove he loved them.”

More than 70 artists showed up on Friday (Nov. 22) to perform his tribute concert, dubbed Playin’ Possum! The Final No Show. The show was originally planned to be Jones’ final show, with his famous friends joining him on stage. But months before the scheduled concert, the singer privately revealed he didn’t plan on attending the star-studded concert himself.

“I’m not going to be here,” he divulged to his wife. “I’m going to agree to anything they ask. Promise me you’ll make a tribute show out of it, and I’ll see it from heaven.’”

Alan Jackson performed ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ as the final song of the evening, inviting an emotionally-shaken Nancy to the stage for the final chorus.

“George would have liked nothing better for all his fans here, and all the artists here tonight, to sing along,” Jackson said (quote via Nashville’s Tennessean).

Next: The Top 10 George Jones Songs

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