The public funeral for George Jones took place Thursday, May 1, at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, and considering the wealth of words, music and emotion that flowed freely and generously during the service, it was one of the most moving public memorials for any artist in recent memory.
Kenny Chesney was one of the speakers during the service, and as anyone who watched it could tell, he was visibly moved by the passing of one of popular music’s most iconic figures. And during a conversation today with Ramblin’ Ray of Chicago station US99.5, he admitted exactly that.
“It was hard,” Chesney said of his time at the podium Thursday. “You just don’t know what to say. And I had in my mind exactly what I wanted to say, and I even had some stuff written down. But…George was such a good friend, you know. It was just surreal being there in the moment. And it basically came down to me saying, I just loved him. And he meant so much to so many people. But he was so much like a father figure to me.”
And with all that in mind, he said, “I gotta tell you, it was hard being there.”