Courtesy of Forbes

272: Loretta Lynn

Country Music Legend

Born: 14 April 1932, Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, United States of America

Died: 4 October 2022, Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, United States of America

Loretta is remembered for songs like Coal Miner’s Daughter, Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind), and You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).

Loretta was born to a hard-working coal-mining family and was one of eight children.

Loretta married at the age of thirteen (or fifteen, sources differ), one month after meeting her future husband, Doolittle, a twenty-one year old army veteran (they would go on to have six children—four of whom were born by the time she was eighteen).

In February of 1960, Loretta was given a record deal and sent to Los Angeles to record her first four songs. Her record eventually made its way to number fourteen on the country music charts. She made her first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry on 17 September 1960.

Her songs are known for focusing on working class women’s issues like birth control, repeat childbirth, and husbands and mistresses.

In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barrack Obama.

Loretta was the first solo female country artist invited to perform at the White House (under the Nixon Administration). She had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since joining in 1962.

As of 2019, Loretta had recorded sixty albums. A biographical film was made about her in 1980 titled Coal Miner’s Daughter (starring Sissy Spacek who won the Academy Award for her part).

Loretta was the most awarded female country music artist of all time. She has sold more than forty-five million albums worldwide.

She released her final album, "Still Woman Enough" in 2021.

According to the New York Times, Loretta's, "Survivors include a younger sister, the country singer Crystal Gayle; her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn; and her son Ernest; as well as 17 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and a number of great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Betty Sue Lynn, and another son, Jack, died before her."

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