Loretta Lynn Passes Away at the Age of 52


Loretta Lynn Passes Away at the Age of 52; Country Music’s “Queen of the Coal Miners” Loretta Lynn, the daughter of a coal miner in Kentucky, rose from poverty to become a pioneer of country music with her honest songs about life and love in Appalachia. She had reached the age of 90.

Lynn passed away on Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, according to a statement released to The Associated Press by her family.

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. They have asked for privacy during this difficult time and promised to share details of a memorial service at a later date.

Lynn started her career in the early 1960s after she had already had four children, and her music reflected her pride in growing up in a small town in Kentucky.

In contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers, she created the persona of a defiantly tough woman through her songwriting. The inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame wrote unabashedly about sexuality and relationships, including adultery, divorce, and the use of contraception.

The songs “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” was her most successful in the ’60s and ’70s. Her longtime assistant and designer Tim Cobb often helped her create the wide, floor-length gowns that she wore when she made public appearances.

Because of her authenticity and originality, she found success in country music. The Country Music Association named her their first female entertainer of the year in 1972, and the Academy of Country Music followed suit three years later.

“It was what I wanted to hear and I knew other women wanted to hear, too,” Lynn told the Associated Press in 2016. I wrote this book for women, not men. They were a big hit with the guys, too.

After years of struggling to find an audience, she finally broke through with the release of her autobiography, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” in 1969.

To make ends meet, her father shoveled coal for a living and the family sang, “We were poor but we had love.”

The book she wrote in 1976 was titled “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was also the title of the movie that came out in 1980. Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for her performance as Lynn, and the film itself was nominated for best picture.

Lynn’s album “Van Lear Rose,” which included 13 songs she wrote, including “Portland, Oregon,” about a drunken one-night stand, won two Grammys in 2005, long after her commercial peak. In the case of “Van Lear Rose,” rocker Jack White served as a co-producer and also contributed guitar work to the album.

She was the second of eight children born to Loretta Webb, and she said she was born in Butcher Holler, a small community in the mountains of east Kentucky that is home to a coal mining company. However, there wasn’t any actual Butcher Holler. She later explained to a reporter that she came up with the name for the song’s sake by combining the names of the local families.

She was raised on the music of the Carter Family, whose members included both her father (a banjo player) and mother (a guitarist). Her younger sibling Crystal Gayle is also a successful country singer who has won a Grammy. Her songs “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and “Half the Way” have become crossover hits. Patsy Lynn Russell, Lynn’s daughter, wrote for and produced a few of her albums.

“I was singing when I was born, I think,” she said to the Associated Press in 2016. “When the kids were little, Daddy would often come out on the porch to find me singing and rocking them to sleep. Loretta, don’t talk so much, he’d admonish. Your voice will be heard in all of this holler. When my father asked me what I thought, I told him, “What does it matter?” All of those people over there? They’re my cousins.

She claimed in her autobiography that she was only 13 years old when she wed Oliver “Mooney” Lynn, but the Associated Press later found records showing she was actually 15 at the time. In the film adaptation of Mooney Lynn’s life, Tommy Lee Jones played the lead role.

Doo or Doolittle, her husband, encouraged her to pursue singing as a profession and promoted her early work. His assistance was instrumental in her signing a recording contract with Decca Records (later MCA) and landing a spot on the Grand Ole Opry. Lynn’s first charting single, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” was released in 1960.

With singer Conway Twitty, she formed one of the most successful duos in country music, with hits like “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” and “After the Fire is Gone,” for which they were nominated for a Grammy. Their duets, as well as her solo albums, never strayed from traditional country to include any crossover or pop influences.

When Lynn first began performing at the Grand Ole Opry, country music legend Patsy Cline took her under her wing.

She was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and named the 1970s’ artist of the decade by the Academy of Country Music. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003, four Grammy Awards, and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.

In the song “Fist City,” Lynn warns another woman to stay away from her boyfriend or they will get into a “hair-pulling fistfight.” In other Lynn songs, the same independent yet conventionally dressed country woman appears. Lynn sings in “The Pill,” a song about sex and contraception, that she is sick of being confined to the house because she must care for children.

In the 1990s, she relocated from California to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. There, she opened a ranch featuring a museum and a replica of her childhood home, which has become a popular stop for passing tourists. Her signature dresses are also present.

She was just writing the truth that so many rural women like her experienced, but Lynn knew that her songs were groundbreaking, especially for country music.

“Because I worked in nightclubs, I saw that other women were experiencing the same thing. “I wasn’t the only one who was livin’ that life, and I’m not the only one who’s going to be livin’ today what I’m writin’,” she told The Associated Press in 1995.

Lynn continued to write well into her later years, signing a multi-album deal with Sony Music Entertainment’s Legacy Records label in 2014. Stroke in 2017 put an end to her concert tours, but 2021 saw the release of “Still Woman Enough,” her 50th solo studio album.

Until his death in 1996, she had been married to her husband for nearly half a century. They had twins named Patsy and Peggy in addition to Betty, Jack, Ernest, and Clara. Of her 19 grandchildren, 17 were biological and 4 were step-grandchildren.