Loretta Lynn passed away today at her home in Tennessee. She was a country music legend who introduced unmatched candor about the domestic realities of working-class women to country songwriting and inspired many who followed her to speak their views, too. 90 years old was she.
According to a statement from her family, “our dear mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away quietly this morning, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch near Hurricane Mills.”
Why did Loretta Lynn pass away?
“Loretta Lynn’s life narrative is unlike any other, yet she derived from that experience a body of work that resonates with people who might never fully comprehend her desolate and remote youth, her tough upbringing, or her exploits as a famous and adored celebrity,” Kyle Young, Country’s CEO.
The singer, whose real name is Loretta Webb, grew up in a small coal mining town in eastern Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains. “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” one of her most popular songs, proudly detailed her upbringing.
When Oliver Lynn, also known as “Mooney” or “Doolittle,” a 21-year-old former soldier, and Lynn decided to establish a family of their own, Lynn was merely a teenager. They moved to Washington State as soon as they had the first four of their six children. There, her spouse overheard her singing her to sleep and encouraged her to start giving public performances. She reiterated that she wouldn’t have done it any other way in a 2010 interview with Fresh Air, saying, “I wouldn’t get out in front of people”.
According to country music historian and journalist Robert Oermann, Lynn trained herself to write songs once her husband began finding her paying gigs.
According to Oermann, “She obtained a copy of Country Song Roundup,” a publication that featured information on the musicians and country song lyrics. “She would read the magazine’s country song lyrics and remark, “Well, that’s nothing. I am capable of doing it. And she had been able to.”
Lynn would drive around to other radio stations with her husband and introduce herself to the DJs in an effort to get them to play her record. When the couple arrived in Nashville in 1960, these efforts had already started to draw attention to Lynn.
Lynn wasn’t afraid to speak up about the humiliations she experienced in her marriage or the discrimination she observed other women experiencing when it came to divorce, pregnancy, and birth control. Country songs have traditionally portrayed adversity from a male perspective. She discovered that Nashville wasn’t used to that level of candor.
Angaleena Presley, a fellow musician from eastern Kentucky, understands the significance of Loretta Lynn’s songs for earlier-generation women since her mother played them while she was growing up.
Presley claims that Lynn’s viewpoint “contributed significantly to the feminist movement,”, particularly in rural areas of the nation. Presley says, “I feel like she was the voice, even if she never openly spoke out as a feminist, her songs certainly did.
51 of those songs, in all, went on to become top 10 country successes according to the Billboard charts. Lynn was the first female recipient of the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1972. She would subsequently be admitted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2003, she received Kennedy Center Honors, and in 2013, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Though their relationship was complicated, Lynn and Doolittle remained married up until his death in 1996. (Lynn also made sure fans knew that her long-lasting musical partnership with Conway Twitty was all business.) Lynn continued performing and recording into the new millennium, attracting younger audiences through her collaboration with Jack White.
Although they had a tumultuous marriage, Lynn and Doolittle remained together until his passing in 1996. Lynn also let her fans know that her long-running musical collaboration with Conway Twitty was strictly professional. Through her partnership with Jack White, Lynn was able to draw in younger audiences as she carried on touring and recording into the new century.
“The notion that, despite singing this song in public, I am not superior to you. It’s me, “Oermann is a journalist. “That’s sort of the takeaway. That level of humility is extremely strong and beneficial.”
That method always guided Lynn’s songwriting; her gutsiness is still audible in the music she left behind.
In 2004, Lynn said to All Things Considered, “I enjoy real life because that’s what we’re doing today. “And since they are currently residing on this planet, I believe that is why people purchased my songs. And I am too. So I take it after observing what’s happening.”