NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens passed away Friday after a brief hospital stay. He was 94.
Dickens died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke on Christmas Day.
“The Grand Ole Opry did not have a better friend than Little Jimmy Dickens,” shared Pete Fisher, Opry Vice President and General Manager. “He loved the audience and his Opry family, and all of us loved him back. He was a one-of-kind entertainer and a great soul whose spirit will live on for years to come.”
Dickens last performed at the Opry on Dec. 20, 2014.
News 2 spoke with Vince Gill about the passing of the star.
“We have so few folks that really saw and knew everybody. This is somebody that would have seen Hank Sr. at the Opry. He would have seen everybody that came along. There’s all kinds of words you could use to describe Jimmy: Patriarch, legend, icon, and all those things. But man, just what a good, gentle man he was.”
Gill continued, “He was about as good as it was ever going to get. I heard Brad say, and I echo that, that he stood the tallest of them all. For me, out there, he took that ribbing about being 4’11” and all that. But, man, I don’t think I ever saw anybody stand any taller than Jimmy.”
Country stars also expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Carrie Underwood wrote, “I know why it’s raining in Nashville. Little Jimmy is in heaven now making the Angels laugh so hard, they’re crying. We’ll miss you, friend!”
Brad Paisley also posted the following: “It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my hero and friend today. I loved you Jimmy… As the sun sets on this planet tonight, for the first time in 94 years it is without my hero.”
Dolly Parton released a statement saying, “I often perform one of Little Jimmy’s best known songs ‘I’m Little But I’m Loud.’ I’ve always related to him and loved him as a person, as a friend, and as an entertainer. He will always be loved and remembered.”
Dickens is survived by his wife, Mona Dickens, and two daughters.
A public visitation will be held Wednesday, Jan. 7 at Woodlawn Roesch Patton on Thompson Lane from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A celebration of life service, which will also be public, will be Thursday, Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Grand Ole Opry House. Friends, family and the public are welcome at both.
News 2 will also live stream his celebration of life service Thursday at wkrn.com/live.