Country music star George Jones' funeral to be open to public

(CNN) -- As one of country music's greatest, it's fitting that George Jones' legacy will be honored with a funeral at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.

The iconic venue will host the service for the late country legend at 10 a.m. CT Thursday, and it will be open to the public.

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

Jones, whose vocals gave life to some of country's most memorable songs, died at 81 on Friday in Nashville. He had been hospitalized since April 18 with a fever and irregular blood pressure.

Fans and friends, both famous and nonfamous, have been honoring Jones' memory with tweets and remarks on the impact he had on country music.

"Thanks to George's friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time," Jones' wife, Nancy, said in a statement. "I love you all."

Before Thursday's funeral, a private visitation will take place Wednesday evening for family, friends and other performers.

CNN's Douglas Hyde contributed to this report.