Fans of George Jones have been invited to pay their respects to the country icon at his funeral this week (begs29Apr13).

The 81-year-old music legend died on Friday (26Apr13) in a Nashville, Tennessee hospital after he was admitted to the facility suffering from a fever and irregular blood pressure earlier this month (Apr13).

He will be remembered at a funeral service at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on Thursday (02May13), and his family have decided to open the service to the public.

Spokesperson Kirt Webster says, "George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family."

A private visitation for Jones' loved ones and fellow performers will take place on Wednesday evening (01May13). In lieu of flowers, Jones' relatives have asked that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry trust fund.

Meanwhile, Jones' wife Nancy has broken her silence about her husband's passing to say, "Thanks to George's friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time. I love you all."