January 01, 1999 12:00 AM

One country music veteran noticeably absent from last night’s Country Music Awards show was George Jones, who was angry that he was asked to perform a shortened version of his best-single nominee “Choices.” But Jones was watching the show at home — and was surprised, along with everyone else, when Alan Jackson brought the audience at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to its feet by singing a few lines from “Choices” at the end of his own performance. “He cried,” said Evelyn Shriver, president of Asylum Records, Jones’s record company. “He said it was the greatest honor ever bestowed on him.” Jackson spokeswoman Kay West said Alan was inspired by a visit to Jones earlier this year in the hospital after Jones was involved in a near-fatal car wreck. “Alan said that had George Jones died there, there would have been a 10-minute tribute to him on the show,” West said. “But he lived, and they wouldn’t give him three minutes.” <!–

  • Shania Twain was last night’s big winner. For complete coverage, click here.

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