In October 2010, the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame witnessed the performance of three country icons: Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban. And their song choice was as iconic as the three of them. It was George Jones’ classic track “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
Dolly Parton was on center stage while Vince Gill and Keith Urban were positioned with the band, both on guitars. The Queen of Country opened with a love confession, telling the audience how much she admired Vince Gill. She often wondered if he felt lonely being so far from home, so she wrote him a note. It said, “Well, call on me if you need me. I can be your other mother, your other lover, or the sister you never wanted.”
She never got a reply, and then she joked that she had been crushing on him for years until Amy, Vince Gill’s wife, put a stop to it.
After the lighthearted introduction, Parton talked about how she chose the night’s song. She said they were asked to choose a song from their hero’s catalog, and George Jones was hers. In fact, she remembered singing his song for her very first performance. And then, after a few more impromptu jokes, Parton smoothly transitioned into the song.
Right off the first line, the crowd couldn’t help but be captivated by her voice and charisma. She knew how to deliver the moving feeling of the song and pierce right through the audience. And then, as she sang the next verse, the crowd went speechless, lost in her undeniably sensational vocals.
When the chorus finally hit with “He stopped loving her today,” Urban and Gill joined Parton, providing harmonizing vocals. And the once speechless crowd erupted in cheers.
But the part after the chorus was arguably the best one: Parton singing the bridge like she was reading the crowd a bedtime story while Urban and Gill hummed softly in the background. And then, in the last chorus, she broke out into a high note, sustaining that bittersweet feeling.
As soon as she delivered her last line, the crowd met her with shouts and applause of praise.
Watch the video below of Dolly Parton’s chilling rendition of George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” with Vince Gill and Keith Urban at the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame. We guarantee this will become one of your country music performance favorites.
Dolly Parton, George Jones, Keith Urban, Vince Gill