Country singer Loretta Lynn, a Kentucky native who rose to the greatest heights of international stardom is dead. She died on Tuesday, October 4th her home in Tennessee.
“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, Oct. 4, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” her family said in a statement.
In April, the country legend celebrated her 90th birthday with well-wishes from musicians all over the world.
Lynn had been hospitalized in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2017 after suffering a stroke at her Hurricane Mills home. The country singer was also hospitalized several times in her life for exhaustion and pneumonia all the while continuing to tour concert halls and greet visitors to her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Lynn did everything it takes to get herself back on her feet for the ones she loves most. Her not-to-be-missed attendance at Alan Jackson’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction that marked her first public appearance in Nashville since her health crisis.
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Married at 13 to a moonshine runner nine years her senior, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, Loretta was the mother of four by the time she turned 18. She started writing songs on a $17 guitar her husband bought her and singing in honkytonks to make extra money.
In 1960, she signed her first record deal and released her first single, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” A string of Top Ten hits followed: “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Fist City.” Many were inspired by her own marital woes.
“I went through a lot and I put up with a lot,” Lynn told PEOPLE in 2010. “Every song I wrote came from my heart.”
Whatever she endured at home, fans and fellow artists showered her with love. “She was beautiful and feisty and had this spirit that made you want to be better,” Miranda Lambert, who spent time with Lynn, told PEOPLE. “She was one of the most genuine artists there is.”
In 1972, Lynn became the Country Music Association’s first Female Entertainer of the Year. In 2003, when she received the Kennedy Centre Honour, President George H.W. Bush called her “a national treasure.”
She remained an icon to her fans, peers and much younger artists, among them Jack White, who produced 2004’s Van Lear Rose and considered Lynn “an absolute genius. She was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century.” The album revived her career with glowing reviews and two Grammys.
Loretta and “Doo” were married from 1948 until his death in 1996. They had six children, the eldest of whom, son Jack, died in a drowning accident in 1984. Of Lynn’s seven siblings, the most famous is singer crystal Gayle. Besides those survivors, Loretta also had several grandchildren.
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