Grand Ole Opry to Host Public Funeral for George Jones

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George Jones performs at The Pavillion at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek on February 9, 2013 in Coconut Creek, Florida.

George Jones’ funeral will take place Thursday, May 2 at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee – and it will be open to the public.

"George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family," explains his publicist Kirt Webster in a statement. The ceremony honoring the late country star will begin at 10 am.

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In the statement, Jones’ wife Nancy adds, "Thanks to George’s friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time. I love you all."

Jones died Friday at the age of 81. One of the all-time greats of country music, Jones was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956. A hit machine who won every major award possible, Jones’ iconic status was confirmed in 1992 when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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A private visitation for family, friends and fellow performers will take place Wednesday evening.

In lieu of flowers, Jones’ family is asking that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry trust fund or the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.