04/29/2013 01:26 pm ET | Updated Apr 29, 2013

George Jones' Funeral At Grand Ole Opry Will Be Open To The Public


George Jones will be laid to rest this week and the country music star's funeral will be open to the public.

Jones' funeral will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, May 2. The service, which starts at 10 a.m., will be open to members of the public, according to CNN.

"George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family," publicist Kirt Webster said in a statement posted to Jones' official Facebook page.

"Thanks to George’s friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time," Jones' widow, Nancy, added. "I love you all."

There will also be private visitation hours held on Wednesday for Jones, who was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956, the Los Angeles Times notes. This will only be open to family, friends and fellow performers.

The chosen location holds great significance since Jones cited the Grand Ole Opry -- a weekly country music concert and radio broadcast that has been around since the 1920s -- as his earliest musical influence.

"The only night my mother and daddy would let me get in bed with them was Saturday night, and the only music we ever heard was the Grand Ole Opry," he told Billboard in 2006. "I'd tell my mother, 'If I go to sleep, you wake me up when Bill Monroe or Roy Acuff comes on.' That was the biggest thrill of my life in those days, listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio."

Nancy has asked that donations be made to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund in lieu of flowers.

Over the weekend, Jones was honored on the Grand Ole Opry stage by Brad Paisley, Mark Chesnutt, Jim Ed Brown, Kristen Kelly and Gospel singer Jason Crabb, according to Billboard. Toby Keith and Trace Adkins also paid tribute to the late legend while performing at the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif.

Jones died on Friday, April 26, at the age of 81. A week before his death, the musician was hospitalized in Nashville for fever and irregular blood pressure.


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