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Randy Travis Speaks Out About George Jones: ‘We Had a Lot in Common’

Randy Travis, George Jones
Frederick M. Brown/Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Randy Travis recently honored George Jones via a touching tribute in ‘Tonight I’m Playing Possum,’ but he doesn’t need a song to keep the legend of Jones strong. All he needs to do is look in the mirror, because Travis sees many similarities between himself and the ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ icon.

“We had a lot in common. Both of us are obviously just country boys who came up through years of playing at nightclubs before actually having a record deal,” Travis tells the Sun Times. “We were both, no doubt, traditionalists all the way through. And I learned so much about singing from George Jones just by listening to him. There was a stretch of years where every hit he had, I was learning them to sing in clubs.”

The two successful country singers also had something else in common besides their similar rise to stardom: a fierce struggle with alcohol. It was a problem for Jones, which he overcame in his later years, and one that Travis is working to conquer, especially after a recent DWI. In fact, he’s even pledged sobriety.

“I think that we all have to deal with certain setbacks and issues throughout our lives,” says Travis. “But, despite the challenges, I’m making my way back to where I want to be.”

It’s no question that the ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ hitmaker can reach his goals. Musically speaking, he has sold over 25 million albums, earned 22 No. 1 hits, six No. 1 albums, six Grammy awards, six CMA awards, nine ACM awards and 10 AMA awards. He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If Travis can focus on his recovery just like his music, he’ll accomplish as much in his personal goals.

All he needs to do is look to the example of Possum, and remember that although he had a hard road in front of him, the legend succeeded and overcame his difficulties. Then, they’ll just have one more thing in common.

Next: The Top 10 Randy Travis Songs

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