Country legend George Jones' funeral takes place today. He died on Friday (April 26, 2013), at the age of 81 and a report from CBC news earlier today revealed that the former First Lady Laura Bush will be amongst those paying their final respects to the late music star. Joining Bush will be country stars including Charlie Daniels, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker and Brad Paisley. Kenny Chesney and Barbara Mandrell are also expected at the funeral, which was scheduled to take place at the Grand Ole Opry.

Jones was an inspiration to many a performer, both inside the country music community and beyond. Musicians as diverse as crooner Frank Sinatra, Pete Townshend of The Who and songwriter James Taylor are known to have been influenced by the work of George Jones. In 2012, he announced a final tour that would become his grand farewell to country music.

Jones gained himself a reputation as something of a hard-drinking Texan man, who struggled with addiction problems as well as having on-going financial problems. However, his image never really overshadowed the respect that people had for Jones as a song writer and performer. He had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956 and was inducted into the US Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2008, he was also celebrated at the annual Kennedy Center Honors.

The legendary performer passed away last week, aged 81.

George JonesGeorge Jones Performing at the Silverton Casino In Las Vegas