NASHVILLE -- Thousands of fans who had been waiting in line since the wee hours joined some of country's biggest stars Thursday to pay their respects to George Jones at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
An overflow crowd began lining up at 3 a.m. to honour the late country music superstar, who died last week at 81.
Former first lady Laura Bush spoke at the public funeral along with friends and country stars Barbara Mandrell and Kenny Chesney. Jones was serenaded by Vince Gill, Kid Rock, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Wynonna Judd, Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis.
The funeral was broadcast live on cable music television channels CMT and GAC and -- in a nod to simpler times when Jones was at his biggest -- on all local television networks.
He was in the midst of a farewell tour that was to have wrapped up with an all-star salute in November in Nashville. He postponed two performances two weeks ago and entered the hospital with a fever and irregular blood pressure. He'd been ill off and on over the previous year.
-- The Associated Press