Country Icon And Coal Miner’s Daughter Loretta Lynn Dies At 90

Legendary country singer Loretta Lynn passed away on Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Her groundbreaking songs addressed social issues such as poverty, women’s struggles, and her own life in the classic song “Coal Miner‘s Daughter.” At 90, she was an old lady.

Her loved ones broke the news of her passing. Family members said in a statement that Lynn passed away at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee on Tuesday. Loretta Lynn, “our precious mom,” “pass country Icon And Coal Miner’s Daughter Loretta Lynn Dies At 90ed away peacefully this morning, October 4th in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” her family said in a statement.

Throughout her 60-year career, Lynn, one of the greatest female singer-songwriters in country music history (if not the greatest, then certainly the most influential), chronicled her life and struggles in song and in the 1976 autobiography that became the hit 1980 movie titled Coal Miner’s Daughter both of which earned Sissy Spacek an Oscar for her performance as Lynn.

Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn, also known as “Mooney” was her husband for 48 years and Tommy Lee Jones played him. Some of Lynn’s most famous songs include “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “One’s On The Way,” and many more. Many of these songs are told from the perspective of a strong woman in a man’s world.

Lynn’s father, Ted Webb was a coal miner and he died at the age of 52 from black lung disease after Lynn and her young family had left Kentucky where Lynn had been born on April 14, 1932.

Peggy Sue Webb and Crystal Gayle both talented singers in their own right were her younger sisters. I Come Home a-Drinkin’ (To a Worn-Out Wife Like You)” by their brother Jay Lee Webb was an answer song to Lynn’s hit and launched his brief chart career.

Lynn married a man she called “Doo” or “Doolittle” when she was 13 (though she sometimes said she was 15). (his other nickname, Mooney, was a reference to his occasional moonshining).

Lynn taught herself guitar and started performing in Washington bars and coffeehouses. “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” was the first of her original songs to be recorded and it was done in February 1960.

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After moving to Nashville, Lynn quickly became a mainstay of the Grand Ol’ Opry and released a string of hits beginning with “Fist City” in 1967. Other hits included “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath” and “You’ve Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out on Me).

With the release of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1970, Lynn established herself as a major artist. In the following years, she would sing about increasingly taboo topics in songs like “The Pill,” “One’s On The Way,” and “Rated X.”

Lynn also collaborated extensively and fruitfully with fellow hitmaking country stars Ernest Tubb and Conway Twitty. In 1976, she wrote her autobiography alongside co-author George Vecsey, expanding the scope of her story beyond the realm of country music.

Her memoir Coal Miner’s Daughter in which she opens up about her rocky marriage, her poor upbringing, her early motherhood and the loss of her friend and mentor Patsy Cline in 1963, was a huge hit. Spacek won an Oscar for her performance as Lynn in Michael Apted’s 1980 adaptation of the novel, which also established her place in pop culture.

The 2018 Lifetime telefilm Patsy & Loretta, starring Jessie Mueller as Lynn and Megan Hilty as Cline, chronicled their friendship. Lynn’s recording and performing career lasted into her 80s. She won two Grammys in 2004 for her album Van Lear Rose which she recorded with rock musician Jack White. She was nominated for 18 Grammys, winning three.

Lynn was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2010. Additionally, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Throughout her career, she would amass a total of sixteen No. 1 singles, five of which were duets with Twitty, and a total of thirty-nine Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

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Coal Miner’s Daughter, three albums recorded with Conway Twitty, and an album featuring Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette, Honky Tonk Angels (1993), all earned gold certifications for their sales success.

Daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn and Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn, son Ernest Ray Lynn, 17 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren survive her, as do her sisters Gayle and Webb.

Donations to the Loretta Lynn Foundation can be made instead of flowers, per the family’s request. More details about a memorial service or celebration of life will be shared at a later time.

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