The funeral for country legend George Jones was held Thursday in Nashville, and although unable to attend, his friend Keith Richards is remembering him by issuing the following statement: “George Jones has left us. We have lost one of the most individual singers of all time. I cannot express the emptiness I feel.

"George was as country as it can get, but he was beyond any bag you want to put him in. He was pure American music without ever waving a flag -- you can hear a million imitations on the radio every day -- but there was, and ever will be, only one George Jones.

"He possessed the most touching voice, the most expressive ways of projecting that beautiful instrument of anyone I can call to mind. You heard his heart in every note he sang. Frank Sinatra called him the second best singer ever. (The number-one obviously being Frank!) I would contest that.

"I truly loved 'The Possum.' He was as crazy as me, and just as free…and, oh boy, could he hang.”

Richards was planning to be a surprise guest at Jones’ tour ending finale in Nashville in November.