Tributes are being paid to country singer Stonewall Jackson who has died aged 89 after a battle with vascular dementia.
Jackson was a regular at legendary Nashville country venue the Grand Ole Opry since 1956, which is the longest-running stint at the club of any current member.
As Billboard reports, a special show at the Grand Ole Opry will take place on Saturday night (December 11) in tribute to Jackson.
Remembering Jackson, the late country legend George Jones’ wife Nancy said: “Stonewall’s breakout hit ‘Life to Go’ was written by George [Jones] and they both became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1956.
“They held a special friendship over the years and although Stonewall was retired, he participated in the final George Jones No Show tribute event after he passed. I will always have a special place in my heart for Stonewall. May he rest in peace!”
Thank you for all the music and memories, Stonewall Jackson. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bkh51obAcx
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) December 4, 2021
Following the news of Jackson’s death a host of fellow Grand Ole Opry stars have paid tribute on social media.
‘Whispering’ Bill Anderson wrote: “Stonewall Jackson and I toured the US and Canada together, sharing a lot of laughs and a lot of country music. He was about as ‘genuine’ a person as I’ve ever known. He will certainly be missed…”
Stonewall Jackson and I toured the U.S. and Canada together, sharing a lot of laughs and a lot of country music. He was about as "genuine" a person as I've ever known. He will certainly be missed… pic.twitter.com/Ye8lGpnXyw
— Bill Anderson (@WhisperinBill) December 6, 2021
The Oak Ridge Boys added: “Saddened to hear of the loss of one of the Honky Tonk heroes of the 50’s and 60’s Grand Ole Opry member STONEWALL JACKSON went home today … Rest Easy sir!!”
Saddened to hear of the loss of one of the Honky Tonk heroes of the 50’s and 60’s Grand Ole Opry member STONEWALL JACKSON went home today … Rest Easy sir!!
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) December 4, 2021
After being born and raised in North Carolina, Jackson moved to Nashville and gained a slot at the Opry by music executive Wesley Rose. At the time it made him the only Opry member performing at the club to not have a record contract.
Across his lengthy career Jackson had multiple Number One hits in the US including ‘Don’t Be Angry, ‘Life To Go’ and ‘Waterloo’ before he was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame in the early 2010s.