Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn has passed away at age 90. She died peacefully in her sleep early in the morning Tuesday, October 4, at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Throughout her 60-year career, Lynn achieved the highest level of success with over 50 Top 10 Hits including “Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “You’re Lookin’ At Country,” “Don’t Come Home A Drinking,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and more. Lynn also recorded legendary duets with The Wilburne Brothers, Ernest Tubb, and Conway Twitty.
The famous native of Butcher Hollow, Ky. amassed a staggering 51 Top 10 hits, garnered every accolade available in music from GRAMMY awards to induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and broke down barriers for women everywhere with songs like “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Fist City” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Thanks to the Oscar-winning 1980 film Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Sissy Spacek, Lynn’s story and songs were brought to an even wider audience, amplifying her impact on several generations of songwriters and artists in various genres including Jack White, with whom Lynn made the GRAMMY-winning 2004 album Van Lear Rose.
Throughout her 80s, Loretta continued to write new songs and, in 2016, returned to the charts with the GRAMMY-nominated Full Circle, the first in a series of critically acclaimed albums produced by her daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, and John Carter Cash at Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn. She followed up with the seasonal classic White Christmas Blue (2016) and 2018’s GRAMMY-nominated Wouldn’t It Be Great, a combination of newly written songs and fresh interpretations of her catalog. In 2021, the American music icon released Still Woman Enough, a celebration of women in country music; her 50th studio album (not including her ten studio duet collaborations with Conway Twitty), Still Woman Enough featured a title track co-written with Patsy Lynn Russell and a deeply emotional “Coal Miner’s Daughter Recitation,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of Lynn’s signature song (October 5, 1970) and album (January 4, 1971).
“Today, my world changed, and it will never be the same again. My hero got her wings last night, and it’s been a day filled with tears. Many memories, so much gratitude and thanking my God above for blessing me first with her music and her guidance through the perils of the music world way before we ever met. I looked up to Loretta always. Then when we became friends, she brought me flowers always, and I brought flowers to her. Time has let me share many special moments with her, but now time has taken her from me forever! But she’s left me with so much to remember and cling on to. I thank God above that I got to sing with her on her latest record. I’ve been waiting a long time for that to come to pass. I was busy planning a much-needed trip to Mexico when I got the news, but for now, Mexico will have to wait because my childhood hero Loretta Lynn has caught the train and she’s ‘On Her Way to Heaven.’ Mexico will always be there, but my friend has gone on to glory. I will see her there someday! I miss you so Retti! I think you know how I feel! Your girl always.”
“England just recently lost their Queen, and today we have lost ours. It’s a very sad day for the music industry. Loretta Lynn has gone on to her heavenly home. She did more for women in Country Music than anyone. She opened up all the doors. Her songwriting was cutting edge, and she was never afraid to tell the truth. She loved her family and wrote songs about her eastern Kentucky upbringing, but her unforgettable voice and beautiful smile is what I’ll remember most about Loretta. She was an original, one of a kind.” -Ricky Skaggs
“As one of God’s great gifts to us makes her way to promised land, may we all rejoice in knowing we will join her someday.” –Doug Gray / The Marshall Tucker Band
“Loretta was a true original. Loved her voice, especially on her gospel records. On behalf of ALABAMA, I’d like to say the world has lost a treasure. She will be missed.”
-Randy Owen / ALABAMA
“She was one of the greatest music and entertainment legends ever! She was so sweet and so smart! I will always be indebted to her for her inspiration and encouragement. My love and prayers are with her family.” -John Anderson
“I’ve known Loretta Lynn for many, many years. Watched her hit the scene in Nashville in 1960 and have always been a fan of her non-apologetic attitude and country sound. I was hoping to see her and visit at the Country Music Hall of Fame inductions coming up… God Bless her family and while we will miss her here on Earth, there’s no doubt in my mind she’s joined that heavenly choir.”
– Jerry Lee Lewis
“Loretta has been an old friend of mine for a long, long time. We’re both from Appalachia – same part of the country. Both started off the same way, dirt poor and worked our way into it. She was a good friend, I’d been calling to check on her lately. When I was 19 and trying to be a songwriter out on the West Coast, she was the first person to cut one of my songs… on the last show we played together at the Johnny Cash Festival in Arkansas in 2014 or ’15 we sang God Bless America Again together one last time – I love her and I will miss her dearly.”
– Bobby Bare
Celebrating the life of Loretta Lynn. One of my highest honors was being joined by her and George Jones on a song I wrote called ‘Country Music Has The Blues.'”
-Billy Ray Cyrus
“The world has lost a treasured icon, and I have lost a friend of more than sixty years. I have so many wonderful memories of touring with Loretta, sharing stages all over the world, laughing together and admiring her strength and tenacity. She was one of a kind as a singer, songwriter, and human being. We are all better off for her having walked among us.”
“I have lost one of my dearest friends and the world has lost a true treasure.”
“Loretta Lynn was the living, breathing description of what it meant to be a woman of country music. Sadly, and appropriately… she takes it with her. No one will ever be more.”
“This was a heartbreaking moment. I only met her a couple of times, but she was always been a big part of my life since I was a little kid. I have listened to her music. My momma and daddy played it all the time. You know they won’t live forever, but when they go it still catches you off guard. She will always be here in spirit and soul.” -Mark Chesnutt