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Friday, 10 April, 1998, 05:01 GMT 06:01 UK
Thousands gather for Tammy Wynette funeral
The Oak Ridge Boys sang at the memorial service for Tammy Wynette
Some of country music's best-known stars joined thousands of fans at a memorial service for Tammy Wynette.

Ms Wynette, dubbed the 'First lady of country music', died on Monday at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, aged 55. Her spokeswoman said she believed the star died of a blood clot.

Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette sold more than 30 million records
After a private funeral and burial on Thursday, the stars gathered on a flower-covered stage to pay tribute to Ms Wynette.

She was most well known for her 1968 hit 'Stand by Your Man', which she co-wrote with her producer Billy Sherrill.

She won the Country Music Association's female vocalist of the year award three times, recorded more than 50 albums and sold more than 30 million records.

About 1,500 fans, many of whom stood for hours in freezing weather waiting for the doors of the auditorium in Nashville to open, gave a standing ovation to Lorrie Morgan, for her performance of 'Stand By Your Man'.

A large painting of Ms Wynette, wearing a bright bonnet, stood at the centre of the stage.

George Richey
George Richey: "She was my buddy"
During the one-and-a-half hour ceremony, Dolly Parton spoke of the faithfulness of Ms Wynette's husband of the past 20 years, George Richey.

Parton said that she and Tammy Wynette "had a lot of laughs together and she was like a little sister to me. It's hard to say goodbye".

At the end of the memorial service, Wynette's distraught husband was helped onto the stage where he said: "She was my buddy. I didn't think it would happen the way it did. We were alone in the house on the couch when she left me."

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