The music world is mourning the loss of a country legend. Country Music Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn passed away yesterday at the age of 90 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family says in a statement. “The family has asked for privacy during this time, as they grieve. An announcement regarding a memorial will be forthcoming in a public announcement.”
At the urging of her husband Oliver “Dolittle” Lynn, who she called “Doo,” Loretta sought a career in music, and eventually signed a recording contract with Decca Records. Her first single was 1960’s “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl,” and she later went on to record such classics as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “The Pill,” “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Rated X” and “You’re Looking at Country.” She also had great success with her partnership with Conway Twitty, which produced such songs as “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” and the GRAMMY-winning tune “After the Fire is Gone.”
- “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was an autobiographical tune, which later became the title of Loretta’s 1976 book. The. book was turned into a biopic starring Sissy Spacek, who earned a Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta, with the film earning a Best Picture nomination.
- Lynn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame in 1988. She was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008 and received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement award in 2010. In addition, she was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and in 2013 President Barack Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- She was also named ACM Artist of the Decade in the 1970s. In 1972, Lynn was the first woman to ever win Entertainer off the Year by the Country Music Association, an honor she won again three years later by the Academy of Country Music. In total she won 13 ACM awards, and eight CMA Awards. Nominated for GRAMMYs 18 times, she’s won four – including two for her 2004 Jack White-produced album, “Van Lear Rose,” and her 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.
- But her place in history as a feminist icon can’t be understated either. In an era where women – especially in the music industry – were expected to ‘just sing and look pretty’ – Lynn pushed back and hard. Songs like “The Pill” and “Rated X” were as incendiary to pop culture as they were ultimately championed.
- But rock audiences got an introduction to Lynn’s legacy as well. Back in 2004 she teamed with rock icon Jack White on “Van Lear Rose,” a project widely seen as a ‘comeback moment’ for the then-72-year-old entertainer. With White producing the project, the heralded track “Portland, Oregon” (a collaboration with White) propelled the project into true crossover success (it was actually her biggest crossover of all time and decorated any number of “Best of the Decade” lists). It debuted at #2 on the country charts, and #24 on the Billboard 200. It was also nominated for five GRAMMY Awards, winning two of them for Best Country Album, and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for “Portland, Oregon.”
- As for her personal life, she married DoLittle in 1948, and while Loretta says in her autobiography she was only 13, records later showed she was actually 15. She had four kids with her husband before ever breaking into music, and had six in total. She and DoLittle were married for over 50 years, before his passing in 1996.
- You can review her massive list of award nominations and wins HERE.
Source: New York Times