According to the Washington Post, legendary country music singer Loretta Lynn passed away at the age of 90. “Our lovely mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home on her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family of Loretta Lynn said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Loretta Lynn was one of eight children and was one of them when she was born in a coal miner’s cabin in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky in 1932. When she was younger, she displayed her vocal gift by singing in the church and at other community gatherings, where she gained attention. She married Oliver “Mooney” Lynn, alias Doo, who was 21 at the time, when she was 15 (or 14, depending on the source). Their marriage was recorded in the Country Music Hall of Fame. After being married, the couple relocated to Custer, Washington, where they began their lives together as parents of a young family.
After raising a family for ten years, Loretta Lynn started playing her own music and singing at bars and clubs throughout her community. Lynn received a recording deal with Zero Records in 1960 when she was 28 years old. That same year, she recorded her first single, which was named “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” Both Lynn and her husband made a concerted effort to promote the track. Their efforts would be rewarded with a tune that would reach position No. 14 on the charts of country music. The Wilburn Brothers heard Lynn and were so impressed by her unique singing style that they invited her to go on tour with them. Almost immediately after that, she and her family would relocate to Nashville.
Lynn thought back to the challenging times she and her husband went through when they were attempting to launch her profession. She said it was a struggle for both of them. “And when I came into one of the stations, there was my record lying face down in the trash can. The disc jockey said, “I have no idea.” I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing you sing. Also, “I’m not sure how excellent this album is or if it’s any good at all.” I responded by saying, “Well, like you probably won’t ever find out since it’s sitting in the trash can!” And I went on to explain to him that this was the case. (through PBS).
With the help of her brother Jay, Loretta was able to make a name for herself in the music industry and gain a recording deal with Decca as well as a seat on the Grand Ole Opry.
After then, Loretta Lynn rose to prominence as one of the most popular artists in the country music genre. In spite of this, Lynn’s private life was flipped completely upside down. After he started drinking, her husband Doo started abusing her both physically and mentally. Her lyrics for the songs “Fist City” and “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” were influenced by Doo’s affair and drinking habits, respectively. She detailed how her husband cheated on her often and even abandoned her while she was in the process of giving birth in the book that she published in 2002 under the title “Still Woman Enough.” Fights broke out often between Lynn and her husband as well. She wrote the following in her journal: “He never struck me once that I didn’t punch him back twice.”
Before Loretta Lynn rose to the top of the industry, the subjects of country music were mostly determined by men. They spoke about the American West, how hard people worked, and how much they loved their nation. It was expected of female performers to comply with this dynamic, and they were often cast in the role of a man’s sidekick. Lynn broke through such boundaries with her devastating songs that spoke of genuine feelings and made people feel more comfortable expressing themselves. In 1967, the Country Music Association bestowed onto Lynn the organization’s very first award for Female Vocalist of the Year in order to acknowledge the growing significance of female performers in the genre. In 1964, Decca published the first album she created herself under the title “Wine, Women, and Song.” The song served as a warning to a guy that he would not be able to get away with his ongoing pattern of infidelity.
“The Pill,” a song that Loretta Lynn released in 1975, is often cited as one of her most controversial and well-known works. Because of how risqué it was when it was recorded, her record label delayed the release of it for two years. The documentary “The Pill” praised birth control and the freedom it allowed to married women who did not want another kid or who could not afford one. “My mama’s just sad she didn’t have the pill so she wouldn’t have had eight of us to feed,” Lynn said of the feminist song to People Magazine. “My mama’s just sorry she didn’t have the pill so she wouldn’t have had eight of us to feed.”
She said that it was nothing more than a “woman arguing with her husband.” “You’ve kept me barefoot and pregnant all these years while you’ve been slippin’ about,” the wife is reportedly saying to the husband. Now that I have the pill, you better get your act together or I’ll get started.” She commented on the meaning of the song’s lyrics, explaining that the tale in the song is about a married couple and not about two single individuals, and hence the lyrics should not be considered “dirty”.
Her song “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was released in 1970, was a great success. According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, her autobiography published in 1976 under the same name served as the basis for the 1980 film starring Sissy Spacek as Lynn.
According to her website, Loretta Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the year 1988. She was described as being “lost in a fog for more than a year” after the loss of her husband Doo in 1996. In contrast, the singer issued the album “Still Country” in the year 2000 and even resumed touring in the same year. She added, “It’s a nice thing, too,” in her response. “Because if I hadn’t, I probably would have gone completely insane by this point. That would have driven me absolutely insane.” In 2003, she was recognized by the Kennedy Center, and in 2004, she won two Grammys for her work. Additionally, in 2013, Lynn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Over the course of her 60 years in the industry, Lynn has made more than 45 million albums available to customers. In addition to that, she achieved 24 victories at the No. 1 position in singles. Her children Patsy, Peggy, Cissy, and Ernest Ray are the only ones who remember her after her passing. In 1984, when he was 34 years old, the family’s son Jack Benny Lynn passed away on the land that the family owned. Betty Sue, the oldest child, and daughter passed away in 2013 due to complications from emphysema. She was 64 years old.