George Jones' funeral will be a public event, it has been confirmed.
Fans of the late country music star George Jones are invited to say their final goodbyes to the singer at his funeral on May 2 at the Grand Old Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee at 10am. A press release confirmed that the ceremony would be open to the public, while a private visitation for family, friends and fellow performers would take place on Wednesday evening.
"George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family," his publicist Kirt Webster said. Jones' widow Nancy added, "Thanks to George's friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time." The 81-year-old star, known for his notorious lifestyle during the height of his fame, passed away at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday evening (April 26, 2013) where had been hospitalized for a week with a fever and irregular blood pressure. The immediate cause of death remains unclear.
Jones - who earned the nickname 'No Show Jones' for his propensity to miss concerts - struggled with alcohol and drugs. However, Country Music Hall of Fame staffer Michael McCall believes Jones' career survived the setbacks because fans could relate to his flawed character. "They identified that it wasn't him being a jerk. It was him struggling with addictions and struggling with himself. It wasn't that he walked out on stage and cussed 'em out-although he may have done that, too-but they saw that this was a man struggling with himself and not somebody who was just high and mighty and being a jerk," he told Billboard.
George Jones Performing At The Silverton Hotel and Casino In Las Vegas