Billy Ray Cyrus, Don McLean and Cyndi Lauper Sign on for George Jones’ Farewell Concert
The legendary George Jones may be retiring, but not before staging what’s shaping up to be one of the most impressive farewell concerts in country music history. The 81-year-old entertainer will be joined by a huge roster of celebrity guests at his final concert, and he’s just added Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘American Pie’ singer Don McLean and (somewhat improbably) pop star Cyndi Lauper to the roster.
“Now, people may not know this, but I have been a fan of Cyndi’s since I first saw her years ago at the Grammy awards; what a thrill it was to hear she will be part of this final celebration,” Jones says in a press release.
“Don McLean and I first met in the ‘70s, here in Nashville, and I love his singing, his songwriting, and I know his performance will be just as special as when I first saw him sing,” he adds. “Billy Ray is an old friend and someone I have spent many times together; bless his heart for wanting to be with me on this show. I love and respect all these singers.”
Jones is wrapping up his touring career with the Grand Tour, which runs for a total of 44 dates this year. The tour ends on Nov. 22 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, and they’d better get started on building an extra-large stage right now. Among the stars already confirmed for Jones’ big send-off are Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, Kid Rock, Shelby Lynne, the Oak Ridge Boys, Sam Moore, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Lorrie Morgan, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Josh Turner and Gene Watson. In addition to Jackson and Tritt, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Tracy Lawrence, Patty Loveless, Joe Diffie, Mark Chesnutt and T. Graham Brown will also appear, along with Lee Greenwood, Little Jimmy Dickens and more.
Those stars — and it’s likely there will be even more announced — will gather for that once-in-a-lifetime show to pay tribute to the country legend’s six-decade career, during which he has scored 143 Top 40 hits, including iconic tracks like ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’ Jones has also received two Grammy awards, and he was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. The entertainer was a Kennedy Center Honor recipient in 2008, is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and holds a National Medal of Arts medallion.
George Jones’ final concert is already sold out far in advance.