loretta lynn, the daughter of a Kentucky coal miner whose outspoken songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia lifted her out of poverty and made her a country music mainstay, has died, her consultant confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. She was 90.
in a statement posted on Lynn’s website, her family said she died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
“Our precious mother, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4, in her sleep at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family said. They asked for privacy as they mourn and said a memorial will be announced later.
Before launching her career in the early 1960s, Lynn already had four children.
“She rocked them to sleep, and that’s where ‘Doo’ found out she could sing,” Lynn, referring to her husband, told “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca in an interview. “He would sneak into the house and I would sing ‘White Christmas,’ and there would be two or three more that he would sing.”
His songs reflected his pride in his rural Kentucky background.
As a songwriter, she created a defiantly tough female persona, in contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer fearlessly wrote about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material that even rock artists once shied away.
His biggest hits came in the 1960s and ’70s, including “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.” She was known for appearing in floor-length gowns with elaborate embroidery or beading, many created by her personal assistant and designer Tim Cobb.
His honesty and his unique place in country music were rewarded. She was the first woman named Entertainer of the Year at both of the genre’s top award shows, first by the Country Music Association in 1972 and then by the Academy of Country Music three years later.
“It was what I wanted to hear and what I knew other women wanted to hear, too,” Lynn told The Associated Press in 2016. “I didn’t write for the men; I wrote for us women. And the men loved it.” , also.”
In 1969, she released her autobiographical “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which helped her reach her widest audience yet.
“We were poor but we had love/That’s the only thing daddy made sure of/He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s dollar,” he sang.
“Coal Miner’s Daughter”, also the title of his 1976 book, was made into a 1980 movie of the same name. Lynn’s portrayal of Sissy Spacek earned her an Academy Award, and the film was also nominated for Best Picture.
Long after her commercial heyday, Lynn won two Grammy Awards in 2005 for her album “Van Lear Rose,” which included 13 songs she wrote, including “Portland, Oregon” about a drunken one-night stand. “Van Lear Rose” was a collaboration with rocker Jack White, who produced the album and played the guitar parts.
Born Loretta Webb, the second of eight children, she claimed her birthplace was Butcher Holler, near the coal mining company town of Van Lear in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. However, there really wasn’t a Butcher Holler. She later told a reporter that she made up the name for the song based on the names of the families who lived there.
Her dad played the banjo, her mom played the guitar, and she grew up on the songs of the Carter family.
“I was singing when I was born, I think,” she told the AP in 2016. “Dad used to go out on the porch where I’d sing and rock the babies to sleep. He’d say, ‘Loretta, shut up.'” that little mouth People all over this world can hear you. And I said, ‘Dad, what does he care? They’re all my cousins.'”
She wrote in her autobiography that she was 13 when she married Oliver “Mooney” Lynn, but the AP laterthat showed he was 15 years old. Tommy Lee Jones played Mooney Lynn in the biopic.
Her husband, whom she called “Doo” or “Doolittle”, encouraged her to sing professionally and helped promote her early career. With her help, she obtained a recording contract with Decca Records, later MCA, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Lynn wrote her first hit single, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl”, released in 1960.
He also teamed up with singer Conway Twitty to form one of country music’s most popular duos with hits like “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” and “After the Fire is Gone,” which earned them a Grammy Award. Their duos, and their individual albums, were always conventional country music and not crossover or pop-tinged.
The Academy of Country Music chose her as the Artist of the 1970s, and she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.
In “Fist City”, Lynn threatens a hair-pulling fist fight if another woman doesn’t walk away from her man: “I’m here to tell you, girl, to fire my man/Go to Fist City if you don’t want to.” . That strong but traditional country woman reappears in other Lynn songs. In “The Pill,” a song about sex and birth control, Lynn writes about how she’s sick of being stuck at home taking care of babies: “Feeling good is easy now/Since I’ve been on the pill,” she says. she sang.
He moved to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, outside of Nashville, in the 1990s, where he set up a ranch complete with a replica of his childhood home and a museum that is a popular roadside tourist stop. The dresses she was known for are also there.
Lynn knew her songs were groundbreaking, especially for country music, but she was just writing the truth experienced by so many rural women like her.
“I could see that other women were going through the same thing, because I worked in the clubs. I was not the only one who lived that life and I am not the only one who will live today what I am writing,” she told the AP in 1995.
Even in her later years, Lynn never seemed to stop writing, landing a multi-album deal in 2014 with Legacy Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. In 2017, shethat forced her to postpone her shows.
She and her husband were married nearly 50 years before he died in 1996. They had six children: Betty, Jack, Ernest and Clara, and later twins Patsy and Peggy. She had 17 grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.