Loretta Lynn, Queen of Country Music, Dies at 90

Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky miner’s daughter whose heartfelt songs about life and love as an Appalachian woman lifted her out of poverty and made her a country music pillar, has died, her consulting firm confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. It was 90.

In a statement released 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 4, in her sleep at home on her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family said in a statement. They asked for privacy as they mourn and said a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Lynn already had four children before starting her career in the early 1960s, and her songs reflected her pride in her Kentucky farm background.

Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait holding a guitar with her name written on the fretboard circa 1961 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait holding a guitar with her name written on the fretboard circa 1961 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Michael Ochs/Getty Images files

As a songwriter, she created the persona of a defiantly tough woman, unlike the stereotypical image of most country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating spouses, divorce and birth control, and sometimes got into trouble with radio programmers for material that even rock performers once shied away from.

Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Cal 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 loose floor-length dresses with elaborate embroidery or rhinestones, many of which were created by her longtime personal assistant and designer Tim Cobb.

Her honesty and unique position in country music was rewarded. She was the first woman ever to be named Entertainer of the Year at both of the genre’s major awards, 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,” Lynn told the AP in 2016. “I didn’t write for men, I wrote for us women. Men loved it too. very.”

In 1969, she published her autobiography, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, which helped her reach her widest audience to date.

“We were poor but we had love/That was the only thing daddy cared about/He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s dollar,” he sang.

“The Miner’s Daughter,” also the title of her 1976 book, was made into a 1980 film of the same name. Sissy Spacek’s portrayal of Lynn earned her an Academy Award, and the film was also nominated for Best Picture.

Long after her commercial peak, Lynn won two Grammys in 2005 for her album “Van Lear Rose,” which featured 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.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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