Music legend George Jones was worked to death by people who pushed him to churn out one more big paycheck before he died.
That’s the charge leveled by George’s former common-law wife, Linda Dodson, 64, who told The ENQUIRER exclusively: “They killed George – they worked him to death.
“He should have retired many years ago, but they forced him into a 60-date ‘farewell tour’ that finally put him in his grave. He was in no shape to be working like that, but they wanted one more paycheck. It’s terribly sad and tragic.”
Jones, who lived with Dodson in Alabama after his split with country singer Tammy Wynette in the mid-’70s, died at age 81 on April 26 in Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being hospitalized with irregular blood pressure and fever.
Known as “The Possum,” Jones’ history with booze and drugs was almost as long as his string of country hits. He cleaned up his act after marrying fourth wife Nancy in 1983, but the years of hard living had taken their toll.
The “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “White Lightning” superstar was on a national tour scheduled to end with a sold-out concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 22 and a new album.
But friends warned he’d never make it.
“I told him, ‘George, you’re killing yourself up there (onstage),’” a source recalled. “But he would just say, ‘I’m going to make sure Nancy and my kids are all well provided for when I’m gone, and I want my fans to see me up there one last time.’
“In the end, it killed him.”