HURRICANE MILLS, TN (CelebrityAccess) – Loretta Lynn, the real-life coal miner’s daughter turned singer-songwriter whose authenticity, toughness, and larger-than-life story inspired generations of female musicians and turned the turmoil, troubles and universal themes of everyday life into an art form, passed away today, (October 4). She was 90.
Lynn celebrated that milestone birthday this past April with birthday salutations from the industry worldwide. Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, said Lynn has always been “timeless and ageless.”
Her family confirmed her death in a statement released to the media. “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills.” The family also asked for privacy as they mourned her death and said her memorial would be announced at a later date.
For Lynn, her songs came from the heart, exploring the hardships, poverty, and danger she experienced while growing up in a cabin near Van Lear, KY – with no plumbing or electricity. In her 1970 smash hit, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Lynn told the story of her upbringing.
In 1976, her best-selling autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter, was made into a film with the same title starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. Spacek won the Academy Award for Best Actress that year for her role in portraying Lynn. Lynn had cemented herself as part of country music’s story, folklore, and history.
Lynn was married at the tender age of 15 to a moonshine runner nine years her senior, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, and was a mother of two by the time she hit the age of adulthood (18) and had six children total. She was married to Oliver until he died in 1996. People reports she began writing songs on a $17 guitar her husband bought as a gift and began singing in honkytonks to make extra money.
In an interview with CBS News the same year Oliver passed, Lynn said:
“I married Doo when I wasn’t but a child, and he was my life from that day on. But as important as my youth and upbringing were, there’s something else that made me stick to Doo. He thought I was something special, more special than anyone else in the world, and never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door. Doo was my security, my safety net. And just remember, I’m explainin’, not excusin’… Doo was a good man and a hard worker. But he was an alcoholic, and it affected our marriage all the way through.”
In 1960, she signed her first record deal and released her first single, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” A string of hits followed: “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” and “Fist City.”
“She is the single most important female singer-songwriter of the 20th century,” said rock performer Jack White, who produced Lynn’s Grammy-winning Van Lear Rose album in 2004.
Throughout her remarkable career, Lynn received eight CMA Awards and was honored with CMA’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Lynn became the first woman to receive the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year in 1972. She was the first recipient of the CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1967 and won that award twice more (1972, 1973). Her frequent duet partner Conway Twitty won the CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year four consecutive years from 1972 to 1975. Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.
The country music legend continued to make appearances and tours until she suffered a stroke in 2017 and broke her hip when she fell at home while playing with her dog.
The entertainment industry is paying its respects to the country music legend.
Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO – “It is not enough to say today that Country Music has lost Loretta Lynn, but rather the world has lost a true music legend. Loretta was a woman whose contributions and impact inspired countless artists and transformed the Country genre into a universal art form. She was a Country Music Hall of Fame member and the first woman to receive a CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year. As a trailblazing songwriter, she bravely wrote about socially and culturally relevant topics that came to define a generation. I’ll personally remember Loretta for her spirit, artistry, and genius that rivaled contemporaries like Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney.”
Terrible news about Loretta Lynn passing away… Prayers to her family.
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) October 4, 2022
Grand Ole Opry – “60 years of Opry membership, countless memories, songs, and stories. Our Opry family turns to music when words fail. Thank you for all you’ve given to the Opry. We love you ❤️.”
Loretta was a trailblazer for women, a country music icon, and a beacon of light to all those around her.
— Ryman Auditorium (@theryman) October 4, 2022
She was an inspiration.
R.I.P. Loretta Lynn ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VqwmkcOAqy
— Carole King (@Carole_King) October 4, 2022
Mick Foley – “RIP Loretta Lynn – One of the very best to ever do it. I love all the hits, but the entire “Van Lear Rose” from 2004 is my favorite. The title song gets me every single time.”
KY Governor Andy Beshear – “Today, all of Kentucky mourns the loss of our very own Loretta Lynn. She was a legend who blazed a trail in country music while telling the stories of Appalachia and Kentucky. She will be greatly missed, but her words and impact will live on forever.”
loretta lynn paved the way for so many of us women in country music. what a legacy she leaves behind 🕊️ pic.twitter.com/b92uVPjZoQ
— leann rimes cibrian (@leannrimes) October 4, 2022
— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) October 4, 2022
Country music star Travis Tritt said it best: “They don’t make ’em like her anymore.”
Other performers shared their thoughts on Lynn’s passing as well.
“Great Britain lost their long-time reigning Queen … now we have lost ours… Rest Easy Miss Loretta … we all loved you … so very much … until the day.” – Joe Bonsall / The Oak Ridge Boys
“The world has lost an icon and a friend. Her music will live on forever. We love you Loretta and you are already missed. My prayers to her family, friends, and fans.” – Johnny Lee
“Loretta Lynn was a sweet, kind, and genuine woman that George and I loved. George toured with her for many years. I will miss her dearly.” – Nancy Jones
“I was so sorry to hear of Loretta’s passing. We did so many great shows together. She’s just one of my favorite people in the world and I’m going to miss her so much. Everybody else will, too.” – David Frizzell
“Today country music lost one of its icons. The Coal Miner’s daughter, Loretta Lynn, was one of the most gracious women I’ve ever met in my life. Besides being an amazing country music artist, she was a true Southern lady. I only met her once in May of 1997 but she made me feel like I had known her my whole life – like she was my favorite Aunt that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Country music now has a void that will likely not be filled for quite some time if ever. Rest in peace, Miss Loretta.” – Heath Wright / RICOCHET
“Country music was forever changed when God gave us Loretta Lynn. Now, it will never be the same again with her passing. She left a trail like no other! Loretta, you are loved and already missed terribly.” – Dallas Wayne
“Sweet Miss Loretta has crossed the river Jordan. I first met her in 1977 and have since remained friends. Sheila and I will miss her greatly. I’ll always cherish her recording of my song, “Wine Into Water”. Please, pray for her family at this sad time. God bless you and rest in blessed peace.” – T. Graham Brown
“This was a heartbreaking moment. I only met her a couple of times, but she was always been a big part of my life since I was a little kid. I have listened to her music. My momma and daddy played it all the time. You know they won’t live forever, but when they go it still catches you off guard. She will always be here in spirit and soul.” – Mark Chesnutt
“Oh so sad to hear of the passing of Loretta Lynn. I’ve listened to her music all my life, sang her songs, and was thrilled to work with her at the same shows on a few occasions. One, in particular, was in 1985 with Jim Ed Brown and Loretta. We started to sign autographs in front of the stage; the crowd started rushing the stage and security quickly hoisted me, Loretta, and Jim Ed to safety. I had never experienced anything like that. I realized a potentially dangerous situation was only because of the audience’s love for the music and the artists. She was loved for her real, down-home, honest personality; in addition to her amazing voice and songs. She will be incredibly missed, but her music will live on forever. Rest In Sweet Peace Loretta.” – Rhonda Vincent
“It’s another very sad day as I hear the news of my dear friend Loretta Lynn passing. I always loved touring and doing concerts with her through the years. She was and will always be one of the strongest forces that helped propel country music worldwide. Gone but will never be forgotten. R.I.P. my friend.” – T.G. Sheppard
“I’ll always remember when Loretta Lynn and I shared a dressing room in California at Knott’s Berry Farm for the ACM – Academy of Country Music show – we talked about shoe shopping! It was so much fun – Great memories of a great lady! May she Rest In Peace!” – Janie Fricke
“Having shared a dressing room with Loretta I can tell you she was really, truly a down-home lady. She will be missed.” – Lacy J. Dalton
“Country music last a groundbreaking powerhouse, someone who paved the way for women in all genres of music.” – Ian Flanigan
“I’m sad and so broken hearted to hear that Loretta Lynn, another one of my musical heroes has left for home. I will be forever grateful for the memories that I was able to make with her. My deepest sympathy to her precious family, friends, and fans.” – Kelly Lang
“My heart is in pieces this morning as I hear the news of Loretta Lynn’s passing. Loretta, you are and have been the biggest inspiration to me my entire life. You were the very first person I started singing; the one who gave me hope and passion to get into the music industry. I pray for your family and friends at this time. Rest easy, honky tonk girl” – Makenzie Phipps
“Every loss in our music industry hurts, but then there are those losses that hit you squarely between the eyes. For me, Loretta Lynn is one of those losses–my guess is, almost every country music fan felt the same way when he or she heard about Loretta’s passing. We should have been prepared for this moment, but it was like taking a sucker punch. At the age of 90, she was a part of our music soundtrack. We all grew up with a Loretta Lynn song in our hearts. One of my proudest moments on the Grand Ole Opry was playing for Loretta Lynn. There are stars and there are icons. Loretta Lynn was an icon. My prayers go out to her family, friends, and fans. Today my heart breaks for us all.” – Tim Atwood
“As a proud Kentuckian, today is a very sad day in our bluegrass state. Prayers up to the family of the Queen of Country Music, Ms. Loretta Lynn. What an incredible career and legacy that she has left behind. So many iconic songs and a life every Small-town kid dreamed of. My prayers are with the family at this time. Long live the Coal Miner’s Daughter. I’ll continue to treasure her signature on my guitar. Love you too, Loretta.” – JD Shelburne
“Today is truly one of the saddest days in Country music history. Loretta Lynn was truly the Queen of Country music and loved by so many. We all love her and will miss her dearly. Rest in peace sweet lady. A real Legend and Icon of our time.” – Shane Owens
“I never thought the day would come that’d we’d lose one of the biggest voices in American music. Loretta Lynn was such a powerhouse and the epitome of the real deal. Her impact on being yourself and believing in your ability helped shape my career beyond measure. RIP Coal Miner’s Daughter.” – Kody Norris / The Kody Norris Show