“Little” Jimmy Dickens is currently hospitalized in Nashville with a undisclosed illness. Representatives confirmed the Grand Ole Opry legend was admitted on Christmas Day and remains in critical care.
The country music singer and guitar player turned 94 on December 19. On December 20, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry during his birthday celebration.
Five days later, Jimmy Dickens was rushed to the hospital. Although the nature of his illness was not disclosed, Dickens suffered several health issues in the last five years.
In 2009, he was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, which required emergency surgery. Although he fully recovered from the hematoma, doctors discovered pre-cancerous cells on his vocal cords in 2013.
As reported by CMT, Dickens underwent radiation therapy to treat the condition. It appeared that he recovered, as he was able to perform in late 2014.
Unfortunately, Jimmy Dickens is facing another life-threatening illness. It is unclear whether his current condition is related to the hematoma or the cancer scare.
A native of Bolt, West Virginia, Dickens was the eldest of 13 children. Although he was awarded a scholarship to West Virginia State University, the talented singer and songwriter chose to pursue a career in music.
As he was just 4 ‘ 11″ tall, the legendary performer was nicknamed “Little” Jimmy Dickens.
Throughout his career, Dickens recorded more than 200 songs. He was also known as a “road warrior,” as he spent decades touring the globe — often performing up to 300 shows each year.
Although he released numerous country albums and singles, Dickens was most known for “A Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed,” Country Boy,” and “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait).” He was also known for “May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,” which reached number 15 on the 1965 U.S. Billboard Top 100.
Jimmy Dickens was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1948. Forty years later, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to his live performances, Dickens was also known for appearing in television and radio shows.
Most recently, Dickens became close friends with country music star Brad Paisley and appeared in several of his music videos. As reported by Great American Country, “Their friendship needs no words. They are like father and son.”
When not performing at or visiting the Grand Ole Opry, Jimmy Dickens spends time with his family at his home in Brentwood, Tennessee. Although he is 94 years old, the Opry legend still loves to perform.
[Image via Nashville Scene]