In her long career in country music, Loretta Lynn inspired generations of women and men. Many of those people came from places far from Lynn’s home town of Butcher’s Hollow. Her songs resounded with themes of resilience in the face of problems that ranged from infidelity to women’s rights. In a career that dated back to the 1960s, Lynn was unapologetic about her country roots and lifestyle. This week it was reported by several news outlets that Loretta Lynn died at age 90. She died of natural causes.
Loretta Lynn: her music and cultural impact
Lynn’s trajectory as a superstar began in 1962 with a song called “Success,” according to The Guardian. That was followed by 1966’s “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” which was one of the first of many songs of Lynn’s to reach No. 1.
Lynn’s plainspoken lyrics, her homespun voice that included what critics have called “coiled vibrato,” made her an icon among women. Lynn’s voice – – her singing and her message, resonated with country and city folks alike. Her story was so compelling that her 1976 autobiography “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” was turned into a movie of the same name in 1980. Actress Sissy Spacek won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn.
But it wasn’t only women’s issues that made Lynn the icon she became. “Dear Uncle Sam” allowed her to take a stand against the Vietnam War. Still, 1966 was a year full of career-defining songs for Lynn. That year, “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” was also released and was well-received by the listening public.
As “Coal Miner’s Daughter” reveals, Lynn’s is a rags-to-riches story. Married at 13, a mother of four by 18, and eventually a mother of six. One thing that was constant in Lynn’s life was her ability to sing. It can be painful to watch scenes in which her much older husband grows frustrated with her inability to cook, clean, and perform wifely duties. however, the truth of the narrative shines when her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn says he is proud of her when she sings.
Lynn remained relevant in the 21st century. In 2004, Jack White of White Stripes’ fame produced her album, “Van Lear Rose.” The two did a duet called “Portland,Oregon.”
In 2021, Lynn released an album called “Still Woman Enough.”
Loretta Lynn is survived by a host of family members, including country star and younger sister, Crystal Gale. She is reported to have died of natural causes at her ranch in Hurricane Mills,Tenn.
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