“He said ‘I’ll love you till I die.'”
Does “He Stopped Loving Her Today” really need an introduction? Being one of the most iconic and heart-breaking country songs ever recorded, the track is an incredibly important one in country music history.
Written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman and produced by Billy Sherrill, He Stopped Loving Her Today quickly became George Jones‘ most successful single ever, going number one on July 5, 1980. The song’s success not only revitalized Jones’ career but ultimately saved it after years of drug abuse after his divorce with fellow country legend, Tammy Wynette.
Ironically, Jones did not think the song would be successful, saying, “I looked Billy [Sherrill] square in the eye and said, ‘Nobody will buy that morbid son of a bitch.’”
Braddock also did not believe the song would be as successful as it was upon finishing it, saying “[I] thought it was just an okay song. I didn’t think it was that great a song.” However, Jones’ performance quickly changed his mind.
Jones later changed his tune towards the song noting that it saved his career, “A four-decade career was salvaged by a three-minute song.”
He Stopped Loving Her Today has garnered many accolades over the years beyond its chart success. In 2008, it was preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry. Additionally, it was ranked #142 in Rolling Stones 2021 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
Listen to it here: