Loretta Lynn, country music superstar, dies at 90.


Loretta Lynn, country music superstar, dies at 90. Loretta Lynn, a daughter of coal miners who rose to prominence as a country music superstar, has passed away.

She had reached the age of 90.

The family of Lynn said in a statement that she passed away on Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

After a long illness, Loretta Lynn passed away in her sleep on October 4 at her ranch near Hurricane Mills, California, according to a family statement. For some alone time, that’s what they needed.

Loretta Webb was the second of eight children born to her parents in the tiny Appalachian community of Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. They lived in a log home with wallpaper created from Sears Roebuck catalog pages. Her early years were spent between the church and the coal mine where her father worked.

Her humble beginnings paved the way for her to become the voice of working-class women, most notably in her hallmark hit from 1970, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was written as a tribute to her father, Melvin Webb, a coal miner who died at the age of 32 from black lung disease.

“I write about my life – in every song I’ve written,” Lynn told Jenna Bush Hager of TODAY in 2018.

Lynn told Hager, “I would have given anything if he (my father) had been present when I recorded ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter,’ but I think he hears me.” And someday I’ll be the one to sing it to him.

Her younger sister, assuming the stage name Crystal Gayle, also had a hugely successful country music career, so clearly the family was not short on musical prowess.

Lynn had already accumulated a lifetime’s worth of lyrics by the time she went to Nashville in 1960 on the basis of her breakthrough hit “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” as well as a persistent promotional push to radio stations across the country.

After marrying Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, a war veteran 21 years her senior, when she was just 15, she settled down as a housewife in Washington with their four young children until a scout for Zero Records heard her singing at a Vancouver club.

Her career took off like a rocket after she made the long journey to Nashville.

Two years later, with the appropriately titled song “Success,” Lynn had his first of fifty-one top-10 successes for Decca Records.

Robert K. Oermann, a country writer and documentary filmmaker, observed, “People were attracted by her naivety.” People found her endearing because she was so innocent about the world, the music industry, and anything beyond her immediate circle of friends and family.

“That and the fact that she was a fantastic vocalist,” he said.

Lynn penned and sang songs that appealed to ladies with country music pioneer Patsy Cline as a friend and mentor until Cline’s tragic plane crash death in 1963. She rapidly learned that the majority of country radio listeners and CD buyers were women. Popular tunes included “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath” and “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).

Country music historian Bill Malone told NBC News, “Women found the champion with Loretta Lynn.” They could relate to her achievements and yet respect her free spirit.

Although I doubt she ever joined the women’s rights movement, I believe her music helped advance the cause.

When she was at the top of her game, Lynn was one of the biggest female artists in country music with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette. After the Fire Is Gone,” a duet with Conway Twitty, became one of her most popular songs.

Lynn was also unconcerned by the backlash, as evidenced by the fact that he had previously released songs praising sex (with “Wings Upon Your Horns”), divorce (with “Rated X”), questioning the Vietnam War (with “Dear Uncle Sam”), and birth control (with “The Pill”).

Her 1970 smash single “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was adapted into an Oscar-winning picture starring Sissy Spacek in 1980. Her autobiography was titled the same.

Lynn was the first woman to be named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year in 1972, and she went on to earn four Grammys, an honor from the Kennedy Center in 2003, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom ten years later. In her six-decade-long career, Lynn racked up over 45 million album sales, as stated on her official website.

For Lynn, the success of a 2004 collaboration with Jack White served as a sort of second act after the turn of the century. However, in 2017, the Trump supporter attacked the celebrities who participated in the Women’s March, saying they needed “more class.” This damaged her reputation as an advocate for women.

In recent years, health stories have dominated media coverage. She had a stroke at the age of 85 and then shattered her hip eight months later in a fall.

Lynn has been a widow since 1996, but she is survived by her four kids: Clara, Ernest, Peggy Jean, and Patsy Eileen, who are twins. Her eldest son, Jack Benny, was killed at age 34 while attempting to cross a river on horseback on the family ranch in 1984, and her eldest daughter, Betty Sue, died of emphysema at age 64 in 2013.

As with her music, Lynn leaves behind a devoted following that spans the ages.

She was singing it as if the women in the audience were experiencing it themselves, Oermann remarked. Millions of women can identify with the warning, “Don’t come home a-drinking.