The oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry, “Little” Jimmy Dickens, died at a Nashville hospital Friday. He was 94.
The country great, known for his height–he stood 4’11”–and his humor, died of cardiac arrest after a stroke on Christmas day left him hospitalized, according to an Opry news release.
The singer, who was older than the radio show itself, last performed at the Opry in December, but had performed regularly for the past three decades. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983.
Dickens was a comedic fixture in the country world, and known for his hits “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” and “A-Sleepin’ at the Foot of the Bed.” Hank Williams Sr. even nicknamed him “Tater” after his song “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait).”
“The Grand Ole Opry did not have a better friend than Little Jimmy Dickens,” Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager, said.
“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.”
Fellow country stars tweeted their condolences Friday night.
It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my hero and friend today. I loved you Jimmy.
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) January 3, 2015
We know y'all are "pickin & grinnin" in Heaven tonight. RIP Little Jimmy Dickens. pic.twitter.com/6kKHRrQDYt
— Alan Jackson (@OfficialJackson) January 3, 2015