We all know that “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is one the best country music of all time. The plot of the song is incredibly emotional, and it will surely bring you to tears. It was first recorded by Johnny Russell in 1979. However, his recording was not released. It was George Jones who made the song popular in 1980.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” of George Jones

Before Jones recorded the song, he was not into it at first. He hated the song, saying it’s too sad and too depressing. However, what he called sad and depressing actually brought his career back to life. After five years of not scoring a number one song, Jones finally made it to the top. His single also made him win the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. In addition, it also won the ACM’s Single and Song of the Year in 1980.

Other Versions

Since the song became too popular, many artists like Johnny Cash, Faron Young, and more covered the song. It’s a great song to record, and it’s something that people also loved. There’s one record of “He Stopped Loving Her Today” that stood out. It was a rendition by Leon Russell.

Leon Russell’s Cover

In 1998, Russell released an album known as Legend in My Time: Hank Wilson, Volume III. In his album, he recorded a song from the past. Some of the songs known in his album are “Okie From Muskogee,” “Crazy,” “Sixteen Tons,” and more. He also recorded Jones’ signature song “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

leon russell he stopped loving her today george jones

Photo Credit: Leon Russell/ Rock Hall Library and Archive

Russell’s version was not released as a single, and so it didn’t enter the country chart. Even his album was not able to make it to the chart too. However, Russell did a wonderful job with the song.

Here’s a version of “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by Russell.

There’s also a version of Russell where he collaborated with Willie Nelson.