In Memoriam: Loretta Lynn (1932-2022)

Country music legend Loretta Lynn has passed away.

Associated Press reports:

Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, has died. She was 90.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lynn’s family said she died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family said in a statement. They asked for privacy as they grieve and said a memorial will be announced later.

In the world of country music, losses don’t get any more monumental than this.  She was one of the most significant singer-songwriters of the 20th century from any genre.

Lynn ranked No. 2 in both editions of our 100 Greatest Women list:

She came from the humblest of beginnings, the daughter of a Kentucky coal miner who married when she was only thirteen years old. Before she turned eighteen, she was a mother of four. But she would emerge from her simple background to become one of the most successful and significant female artists in the history of recorded music, pushing the conventional lyrical boundaries of country music with her sharply-written songs.

Of course, the story of her life before she became a star is almost as interesting as the music that made her one. Born and raised in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, Lynn grew up in a small shack with an assortment of younger brothers and sisters. She sang at local church events and for the entertainment of family friends and relatives, and her mother taught her to sing the old country ballads of the mountains.







  1. I can’t express how much I will miss Loretta. I have seen her live segeral times. There will never be another singer this unique. Such a sad day for country music

  2. This is one more tragic loss for American music, country or otherwise; and it makes us realize once again how mortal we all are. Loretta is one of those folks who cannot and will not ever be replaceable, no matter how much we want to have it happen.

    • I feel like her lineage in mainstream country music ended with Patty Loveless, even though there have been many female artists since who count her as in influence. The world is just too interconnected now for a talent like Lynn to emerge essentially from isolation with her talent fully developed.

  3. As eye-rolling as it may sound, I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t know who Loretta Lynn was. Her music was always played in my house growing up. Long before I knew what they meant, I was walking around singing Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’, You Ain’t Woman Enough, and Fist City.

    We loved her because she felt like family or like a close neighbor. She was like us. And we loved her even more when she began recording with Conway Twitty. What a pair!!! You should’ve heard little me trying to harmonize with Feelins’ (then again, maybe it’s best you didn’t – LOL). We started listening to (and fell in love with) Crystal Gayle just because she was Loretta’s little sister.

    My Mama switched to Crisco vegetable oil just because Loretta advertised it in commercials. And I saw my Dad tear up when Loretta recorded her tribute album to Patsy Cline – I Remember Patsy.

    She meant a lot to us. We loved her music, her style, her honesty, her beauty, her strength, and her moxie. She was the first female Entertainer of the Year. And while Loretta was the ultimate entertainer, she was so much more than that. If your eyes were on her, you were definitely looking at country.

  4. Just as an entire generation never knew another Queen of England, Loretta Lynn was always the undisputed queen of my country universe.

    As impossibly sad as it is to lose Loretta, if I keep on the sunny side, I know the depth of the loss comes directly from having been blessed to live with her for so long.

    Loretta’s music will always be family and comfort to me.

  5. …just about a month ago sunny sweeney told the audience at her acoustic gig in switzerland: “loretta lynn once told me: write what you know.” later in the show, miss sweeney pointed out that she’s got “a lot of songs about wine and divorce” and the title of her new (great) album is: “married alone”. carly pearce chose “dear miss loretta” as one of her songs she wanted a foreign audience to hear a few weeks ago. loretta lynn was beloved, relevant and present until this day and probably will remain so. what a titan she was in her field. r.i.p.

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