Funeral services for George Jones are Thursday at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House at 10 a.m. CT, and they are open to the public. A private visitation will be held Wednesday evening for family, friends and fellow performers.
Expressing gratitude for the support from the country music community, Nancy Jones says, "Thanks to George’s friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time. I love you all."
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes contributions be made to the Opry Trust Fund (2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37214) or to the Country Music Hall Of fame and Museum (Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum 222 Fifth Avenue, South, Nashville, TN 37203).
KEITH URBAN devoted a portion of his "Urban Chat" to George by singing a few bars of "He Stopped Loving Her Today" . . . and then adding, quote, "Rest in Peace, George. Love you."
JOHN RICH and '70s country star LARRY GATLIN got together at John's house to swap a few stories. John said he'd like to go out like George did, with his hair on fire . . . meaning still doing tour dates and recording new music at the age of 81.
VINCE GILL said, quote, "There aren't words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness. I'll miss my kind and generous friend."
MERLE HAGGARD posted a photo on Twitter and wrote, "The world may have lost the greatest country singer that ever lived."
CARRIE UNDERWOOD passed along this Tweet, "The greatest country singer of all-time. Period. Couldn't have said it better."
ALAN JACKSON took to his Twitter page and wrote, "Heaven better get ready for George Jones. He will always be the greatest singer of real country music . . . there'll never be another."
LUKE BRYAN wrote, "George, you will be deeply missed. Thanks for the beautiful memories."
What a sad day. Country legend George Jones passed away at the age of 81 today. (Friday)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," has died. He was 81.
Publicist Kirt Webster says Jones died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized with fever and irregular blood pressure.
Known for his clenched, precise baritone, Jones had No. 1 songs in five separate decades, 1950s to 1990s, and was idolized not just by fellow country singers, but by Frank Sinatra, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, James Taylor and countless others.
In a career that lasted more than 50 years, "Possum" recorded more than 150 albums and became the champion and symbol of traditional country music, a well-lined link to his hero, Hank Williams.
By most accounts, George Jones is the finest vocalist in the recorded history of country music. Initially, he was a hardcore honky tonker in the tradition of Hank Williams, but over the course of his career he developed an affecting, nuanced ballad style. In the course of his career, he never left the top of the country charts, even as he suffered innumerable personal and professional difficulties. Only Eddy Arnold had more Top Ten hits, and Jones always stayed closer to the roots of hardcore country.