Music superstar Loretta Lynn has died.
A brief statement by her family said, “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills.”
A statement posted on her website details the singer-songwriter’s storied career:
Country superstar Loretta Lynn passed peacefully in her sleep early this morning, Tuesday, October 4, at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Lynn was 90.
Over the course of her 60-year career, the famous native of Butcher Hollow, Ky. amassed a staggering 51 Top 10 hits, garnered every accolade available in music from GRAMMY awards to induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and broke down barriers for women everywhere with songs like “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Fist City” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Thanks to the Oscar-winning 1980 film Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Sissy Spacek, Lynn’s story and songs were brought to an even wider audience, amplifying her impact on several generations of songwriters and artists in various genres including Jack White, with whom Lynn made the GRAMMY-winning 2004 album Van Lear Rose.
Throughout her 80s, Loretta continued to write new songs and, in 2016, returned to the charts with the GRAMMY-nominated Full Circle, the first in a series of critically acclaimed albums produced by her daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, and John Carter Cash at Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn. She followed up with the seasonal classic White Christmas Blue (2016) and 2018’s GRAMMY-nominated Wouldn’t It Be Great, a combination of newly written songs and fresh interpretations of her catalog. In 2021, the American music icon released Still Woman Enough, a celebration of women in country music; her 50th studio album (not including her ten studio duet collaborations with Conway Twitty), Still Woman Enough featured a title track co-written with Patsy Lynn Russell and a deeply emotional “Coal Miner’s Daughter Recitation,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of Lynn’s signature song (October 5, 1970) and album (January 4, 1971).
Lynn’s music and achievements were repeatedly recognized by all of the major awards bodies. She joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1962, won four GRAMMY awards, seven American Music Awards and eight Country Music Association awards. She was the first woman to win the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards for Entertainer of the Year. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, and was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. She sold over 45 million albums worldwide.
Lynn was pre-deceased by her husband of 48 years Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn, her daughter Betty Sue Lynn and son Jack Benny Lynn. She is survived by her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn and her son Ernest Ray Lynn as well as grandchildren Lori Lynn Smith, Ethan Lyell, Elizabeth Braun, Tayla Lynn, Jack Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn Jr., Katherine Condya, Alexandria Lynn, Jasyntha Connelly, Megan Horkins, Anthony Brutto, Jason Lynn, Wesley Lynn, Levi Lynn, Emmy Rose Russell, David Russell, Lucca Marchetti and step grandchildren David Greer, Jennafer Russell, Melody Russell and Natalie Rapp, and her great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to be made to the Loretta Lynn Foundation. Information about a memorial service/celebration of life will be made available at a later date. For more information, visit LorettaLynn.com.
An announcement regarding a memorial will be forthcoming in a public announcement, the website states.
Star News Network entertainment writer Bethany Bowman said:
Since the beginning of country music, women have always struggled to get their fair share of the pie. We are grateful for those who have come before us like Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, The Carter Family, and of course, Dolly to name a few.
But there was no one better at telling their truths than Loretta Lynn.
She started with her autobiographical “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” boldly proclaimed that “You Ain’t Women Enough to Take My Man,” pushed the limits with “The Pill” and then sang what many women thought, but weren’t brave enough to say out loud, “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ With Lovin’ on Your Mind.”
Loretta went there. She sang what she felt and didn’t apologize for it. She paved the path for every authentic country singer/songwriter on the planet. And while we will never have another songstress as capable of succinctly stating her truths as Loretta Lynn, we are eternally grateful for the trail she blazed.
To any struggling singer/songwriter, especially women, I say: If you want to know learn how to write a better song, spend a few days listening to Loretta Lynn. You might just get the inspiration you need.
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Photo “Loretta Lynn” by Loretta Lynn.