Tammy Wynette's Grave To Have Country Music Star's Stage Name

Image: Tammy Wynette's Grave To Have Country Music Star's Stage Name

Monday, 24 Mar 2014 08:57 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Tammy Wynette's grave will soon be restored to display the late country singer's stage name after a lengthy squabble between her four daughters and stepdaughter.

Wynette, known for hits like "Stand by Your Man" and "Singing My Song," died in 1998 at age 55 after years of medical problems. She was laid to rest at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville in a crypt owned by her stepdaughter, Deirdre Richardson Hale — the daughter of Wynette's fifth husband, George Richey (birth name Richardson).

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When Wynette died, Richey reportedly inherited business rights to the singer's music and trademarks. A few months before his death in 2010, his children — including Hale, an attorney — and Wynette's four daughters from her previous marriages banded together to attempt a challenge that would bar a music publishing company from buying the rights.

According to The Tennessean, Hale told Wynette's daughters that the challenge would be easier if the name on the country star's grave was temporarily changed to Virginia W. Richardson. The moniker was then altered in 2012.

But the challenge never happened because Hale was slapped with a defamation suit from her stepmother, Sheila Richey, The Tennessean noted. Wynette's daughters have been trying ever since to have their mother's stage name restored on her grave.

Now, years later, Hale has agreed to have the name reverted back to Tammy Wynette.

"She worked very hard and long her whole life for that name," Georgette Jones Lennon, Wynette's daughter with late country star George Jones, told The Boot. "That’s who she believed she was. That is who she was."

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