Born In: Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, United States
Loretta Lynn was an American singer-songwriter best known for her country music songs, such as 'Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind),' 'Coal Miner's Daughter,' and 'Fist City.' She played an important role in music, contributing greatly to American country music. It was due to her strong influence over country music that she was named the ‘First Lady of Country Music.’ She was also popularly known as ‘Country Music’s First Girl Singer.’ Over the course of her long and illustrious career, she released more than 160 songs and over 60 albums. She sold more than 45 million records. She had 11 number-one albums and 24 number-one singles on the country charts. She also received several prestigious awards, such as the ‘Academy of Country Music Award’ and the ‘Country Music Association Award.’
Also Known As: Loretta Webb
Died At Age: 90
Spouse/Ex-: Oliver Lynn (m. 1949–1996)
father: Melvin Webb
mother: Clara Marie Ramey Webb
siblings: Betty Ruth Webb, Crystal Gayle, Donald Webb, Herman Webb, Jay Lee Webb, Melvin Webb Jr, Peggy Sue
children: Betty Sue Lynn, Cissy Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn, Jack Benny Lynn, Patsy Lynn, Peggy Lynn
Born Country: United States
place of death: Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, United States
Ancestry: Irish American
U.S. State: Kentucky
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Loretta Lynn was born on April 14, 1932, in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, USA, to Melvin ‘Ted’ Webb and Clara ‘Clary’ Marie. She was the second of eight children born to the couple. Her father worked as a coal miner, storekeeper, and farmer. She had seven siblings.
Raised in Butcher Hollow, in a coal mining community, she started singing at an early age. Like most of her siblings, she pursued a career in music.
She moved to Washington State along with her husband and family, looking for better work opportunities. It was in 1953 that she was presented with a Harmony guitar, which she learned to play.
Three years later, after much persuasion from her husband, she started thinking of music as a career option. She started improving her guitar-playing skills and took up a singing position at the ‘Delta Grange Hall’ with Pen Brother’s band ‘The Westerneers.’
In 1959, she formed her own band titled ‘Trailblazers’ along with her brother Jay Lee Webb. She then performed at a televised talent contest, which she eventually won.
Her performance in the talent contest led her to a contract with ‘Zero Records.’ The company arranged for the recording and release of her songs, ‘I'm A Honky Tonk Girl,’ ‘Whispering Sea,’ ‘Heartache Meet Mister Blues,’ and ‘New Rainbow.’ For the promotion of the songs, she traveled to various radio stations, playing country music.
She moved to Nashville in the late-1960s where she began cutting demo records for Wilburn Brothers' Publishing Company. It was while working with the Wilburns that her career witnessed yet another surge as she secured a contract with ‘Decca Records.’
Soon, she became the number-one female singer in country music. Her first single under ‘Decca Records’ was titled ‘Success.’ The song turned out to be a massive hit and peaked at the number six position on the Billboard chart.
She then released her next song ‘Before I’m Over With You’ which peaked at number four on the Billboard chart. She supplemented the success of her earlier works with more successful songs, such as ‘Wine, Women and Song.’
In 1964, she released an album titled ‘Mr and Mrs Used To Be’ with Ernest Tubb. The album made it to the top 15 position on music charts. The success of their debut album encouraged them to release two more albums titled ‘Singin’ Again’ and ‘If We Put Our Heads Together.’
Meanwhile, she continued with her solo career, releasing hit tracks, such as ‘Happy Birthday,’ ‘Blue Kentucky Girl,’ and ‘The Home You're Tearing Down.’ She then followed them up with two albums titled ‘Songs From My Heart’ and ‘Blue Kentucky Girl.’ Most of the songs from the albums were enlisted in the ‘Top 10 Country Hits’ lists.
In 1966, she came up with the single ‘You Ain’t Woman Enough.’ The song gained much popularity, peaking at the number one position in ‘Cash Box.’ It cemented her position as the number one country female recording artist.
Over the next couple of years, she released several hit tracks and albums, including ‘Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin (With Lovin' on Your Mind),’ ‘Fist City,’ ‘What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am),’ ‘Your Squaw Is on the Warpath,’ and ‘Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone).’
Throughout the 1970s, she released several hit numbers, one of which was ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter.’ It peaked at number one on the ‘Billboard Country Charts’ and sold more than five million copies. It was also ranked 83rd on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ list.
In 1971, she collaborated with Conway Twitty to release several successful singles. They went on to become one of the most successful duos in country history; they received the ‘Vocal Duo of the Year’ award four times in a row.
In 1973, she came up with her most controversial hit ‘Rated X.’ Despite being controversial, the song peaked at number one position on the ‘Billboard Country Chart.’ She followed it up with the album ‘Love is the Foundation,’ which had singles like ‘Love Is The Foundation’ and ‘Hey Loretta.’
In 1976, she came up with her debut book, an autobiography titled ‘Coal Miner's Daughter.’ The book found a place in the ‘New York Times’ bestseller list. Such was the success of the book that it was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name.
The following year, along with Twitty, she came up with an album titled ‘Dynamic Duo.’ They followed it up with five number-one singles and seven top-10 hits. The same year, she also released a tribute album titled ‘I Remember Patsy’ to honor her friend and country pop singer.
Her success streak continued well into the 1980s as she released several hits, such as ‘Pregnant Again,’ ‘Naked in the Rain,’ ‘Somebody Led Me Away,’ and so on. Subsequently, she released two studio albums, ‘Loretta’ and ‘Lookin’ Good.’
Towards the latter half of her career, she came up with one of her last solo releases ‘Heart Don’t Do This to Me’ in 1985. The song peaked at No. 19 on the popular country music chart.
In 1987, she lent her voice to K.D. Lang's album ‘Shadowland’ along with other country musicians and singers. They came up with the single ‘Honky Tonk Angels Medley.’ The album was certified gold and earned her a ‘Grammy Award’ nomination.
The following year, she released her last solo album ‘Who Was That Stranger’ for a major recording company. Thereafter, she started spending much of her time touring rather than releasing or promoting her singles.
After a couple of years of hiatus, she returned to the music scene with a hit CD in 1993. The CD peaked at number six on the ‘Billboard Country Chart’ and number 68 on the ‘Billboard Pop Chart.’ It recorded a sale of more than 800,000 copies, receiving a gold certification in the United States and Canada. She then took a break and did not release any new albums.
After the death of her husband in 1996, she returned to the music scene and released her comeback album ‘Still Country’ in 2000. She followed it up with the release of ‘Country in My Genes,’ her first single in almost a decade. The song peaked at the top spot on the ‘Billboard Country Chart.’
In 2002, she came up with her second autobiographical work ‘Still Woman Enough.’ Just like its predecessor, this too was much appreciated and became a ‘New York Times’ bestseller, ranking in the top 10 position.
Two years later, she came up with her next album ‘Van Lear Rose.’ The album gained much popularity in the music industry with ‘Rolling Stones’ magazine calling it the second-best album of the year.
In 2010, she performed at the ‘Nelsonville Music Festival’ in Nelsonville. The same year, ‘Sony Music’ paid her a tribute with the release of the album ‘Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn.’ The album was very successful and made her the first female country recording artist to chart records for six decades.
In 2012, Lynn published her third autobiography ‘Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics.’
From 2016 to 2018, she released albums like ‘Full Circle,’ ‘White Christmas Blue,’ and Wouldn't It Be Great.’
In 2021, she released her forty-sixth and final solo studio album ‘Still Woman Enough.’ The album reached number 83 on the US Billboard 200 and peaked at number 9 on the US Top Country Albums.
For her relentless contribution to music, she was bestowed with numerous awards, including ‘Grammy Awards,’ ‘American Music Awards,’ ‘Broadcast Music Incorporated Awards,’ ‘Academy of Country Music Awards,’ ‘Country Music Association Awards,’ and ‘Music City News Awards.’
She was inducted into several Halls of Fame, including ‘Country Music Hall of Fame,’ ‘Gospel Music Hall of Fame,’ and ‘Songwriters Hall of Fame.’ Furthermore, she has a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’
In 2003, she became the proud recipient of the ‘Kennedy Center Honors.’ In 2010, she was bestowed with the ‘Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.’ In 2013, she was presented with the prestigious ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ by President Barack Obama.
Lynn received the 2015 ‘Billboard Legacy Award’ for ‘Women in Music.’
In 2018, she was named ‘Artist of a Lifetime’ by CMT.
At the young age of 15, she tied the nuptial knot with Oliver Vanetta Lynn, after dating him for a month. The couple was blessed with six children. Oliver Vanetta Lynn was also known as Doolittle, Doo, or Mooney.
Their marriage lasted for almost 50 years until the death of Mooney in 1996.
She has endured a number of health complications. In 2013, she was struck with a personal tragedy when her eldest daughter Betty Sue died of complications from emphysema. Prior to Betty Sue, Lynn had lost her son Jack Benny Lynn in 1984.
Lynn had a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, in May 2017. The following year, she fell down and broke her hip.
She passed away in her sleep on October 4, 2022, in her home. No cause of death was revealed. She was laid to rest on her ranch in Hurricane Mills right beside her husband, Oliver Lynn.
This female American musician was popularly known by the nicknames, ‘First Lady of Country Music’ and ‘Country Music's First Girl Singer.’
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