The iconic country music singer George Jones will be laid to rest on Thursday, May 2 in Nashville. Jones' funeral will take place at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. a fitting place to say farewell to a country music legend who has been a member there since 1956. There has been so much outpouring support from the fans that the funeral service is now being opened to the public.

Jones' publicist, Kirt Webster, says it's only appropriate. "George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family," he says in a press release Sunday (April 28).

The singer's wife of 30 years, Nancy Jones, agrees. "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, Jones' family has asked that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund, or the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Jones passed away on Friday (April 26) at the age of 81 after battling health problems for much of 2012 and the early part of this year. This was to be George's final year to tour as a performer and many of his fellow country stars have overwhelmed the singer's family with tributes to his enduring influence and legacy.

George Jones achieved perhaps his greatest personal honor when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. He will certainly be missed.