Faith Hill, Garth Brooks pay respects at George Jones funeral
George Jones' public memorial service was one star-studded event.
The late country singer's life was remembered and celebrated Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, with numerous celebs sharing fond memories of Jones through eulogies as well as paying tribute to his legacy in the music industry by performing onstage.
Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, the Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt, Barbara Mandrell, Kid Rock, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Brad Paisley, Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Chesney, Wynonna and Alan Jackson all spoke or sang a song in Jones' memory, according to CMT.com.
Along with the celebs, thousands of Jones' fans lined up hoping to secure a seat in the Opry House, filling the theater's upper deck and outer flanks after friends and family were allowed to take their seats closer to the stage.
The speeches didn't skip over Jones' troubles, the times when he'd missed shows and struggled with alcohol and drugs. But the speakers also remembered a great performer who was loved by his fans.
Before performing an original tune titled "Best of Me," Kid Rock said, "Quite frankly, I know how difficult it can be to be with one of us. We give so much of our self to the people, to the fans, to the crowds and to the business that sometimes when you come home, it can be a little empty there because you don't have so much left to give. But no matter what we got of George Jones, (his wife Nancy) got the best of him."
Jackson closed the ceremony as he emotionally sang Jones' signature song, "He Stopped Loving Her Today." Near the end, Jackson removed his cowboy hat as the Opry house joined him for the song's final line. "We love you, George," they said.
The 81-year-old star passed away at Vanderbilt University Medical Center last week, where he had been hospitalized since a week earlier after coming down with a slight fever and irregular blood pressure, however his immediate cause of death is still unknown.