Country queen Loretta Lynn dead at 90

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Country queen Loretta Lynn dead at 90's Profile


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.

Lynn’s family said she died Tuesday at her home in 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,” reads a statement from her family.

They asked for privacy as they grieve and said a memorial will be announced later.

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

As a songwriter, she crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers.

The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.

Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and ’70s, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”

She was the first woman ever named entertainer of the year at the genre’s two major awards shows, first by the Country Music Association in 1972 and then by the Academy of Country Music three years later.

In 1969, she released her autobiographical “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which helped her reach her widest audience yet.

“Coal Miner’s Daughter,” also the title of her 1976 book, was made into a 1980 movie of the same name.

Sissy Spacek’s portrayal of Lynn won 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.

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 east Kentucky.

There really wasn’t a Butcher Holler, however. She later told a reporter that she made up the name for the purposes of the song based on the names of the families that lived there.

She wrote in her autobiography that she was 13 when she got married to Oliver “Mooney” Lynn, but it was later discovered state records that showed she was 15.

Tommy Lee Jones played Mooney Lynn in the biopic.

Her husband, whom she called “Doo” or “Doolittle,” urged her to sing professionally and helped promote her early career.

With his help, she earned 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.

The Academy of Country Music chose her as the artist of the decade for the 1970s, and she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.

Photo courtesy of @LorettaLynn

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