'True Legend' Loretta Lynn Takes Her Final Bow

Trailblazing country singer died at home in Tennessee on Tuesday at the age of 90
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2022 10:35 AM CDT
'True Legend' Loretta Lynn Takes Her Final Bow
Loretta Lynn waves to the crowd after performing during the Americana Music Honors and Awards show on Sept. 17, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

The "Coal Miner's Daughter" has sung her last tune. Country singer Loretta Lynn died "peacefully ... in her sleep" Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., family members tell the AP. The 90-year-old, who suffered a stroke in 2017, died from natural causes, a rep tells TMZ. The outlet describes the three-time Grammy winner as "a true legend" who tallied 21 No. 1 singles and 11 No. 1 albums over a six-decade career, chronicled in the hit 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter, based on her 1976 autobiography of the same name. Her "plucky songs and inspiring life story made her one of the most beloved American musical performers of her generation," per the New York Times.

Born in Kentucky, Lynn married at 15, became a mother to the first of six children at 16, and was a grandmother by her early 30s, per the Times. Several of her songs—including "You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)" and "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)"—were inspired by her relationship with husband and manager Oliver Vanetta Lynn Jr., nicknamed Doolittle, who was known for his drinking and womanizing. "Doo would always try to figure out which line was for him, and 90% of the time every line in there was for him," Lynn said in a 2000 interview, per the Times. "We fought hard, and we loved hard." They were married for 48 years, until Oliver's death in 1996.

Though she rejected the feminist label, she was viewed as "a feminist icon," per Rolling Stone. "This incubator is overused / Because you've kept it filled / The feelin' good comes easy now / Since I've got the pill," she sang in celebration of birth control in 1975's "The Pill." She also sang about forging equality in a marriage. "From now on, lover-boy, it’s 50-50, all the way," she crooned in "We've Come a Long Way, Baby," released in 1979. "Up to now I’ve been an object made for pleasin' you / Times have changed and I'm demanding satisfaction, too." The first woman named country music's entertainer of the year, Lynn was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, per TMZ. (More Loretta Lynn stories.)

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