Loretta Lynn, the legendary country singer who impacted the world of music so profoundly over the years, turned 90 on April 14.
Throughout her life, she experienced a lot of beautiful things, as well as loses and griefs, but she came even stronger each time.
Lynn was a daughter of a coal miner, and that is something that was a big part of her life. Her signature song “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and an Oscar-winning biopic of the same name were inspired by her life story.
At the age of 15, Lynn met the man who would become her husband. She stayed with him for 48 year, until his passing in 1996. Her marriage to Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn resembled a fairytale, but things weren’t smooth between them, mainly because of his heavy drinking and the many affairs he had with other women over the years.
”I married Doo when I wasn’t but a child, and he was my life from that day on,” Lynn later wrote in her 2002 memoir Still Woman Enough. “But as important as my youth and upbringing was, there’s something else that made me stick to Doo. He thought I was something special, more special than anyone else in the world, and never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door. Doo was my security, my safety net.
“Doo was a good man and a hard worker. But he was an alcoholic, and it affected our marriage all the way through.”
He, however, supported her career a great deal and bought her her first guitar. It was in 1960 that Lynn recorded her first record, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” The song led to a contract with Decca Records after which she appeared on the Grand Ole Opry.
From that moment on, she rose to stardom and is until this very day a much loved vocal adored by millions.
She has always been a woman before her time who was never afraid to tackle topics which were considered taboo during the 1960’s. Her song “Dear Uncle Sam,” which was critical of the Vietnam war, and “The Pill,” which tackled the controversial topic of birth control led to her songs to be banned from the radio.
“Loretta Lynn has more banned songs than any other country artist,” the artist’s granddaughter Tayla Lynn recently told NewsNation. “They tried to cancel her before cancel culture was a thing.”
55 years ago today I put this song out and it became a #1 hit. Some advice never gets old and, boys, I recommend you keep this one in mind still today! pic.twitter.com/Jw15F1IUqg
— Loretta Lynn (@LorettaLynn) February 10, 2022
For her music, Lynn has won three Grammy Awards and was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. She is also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to her by former President Barack Obama in 2013.
In 2018, Lynn suffered a stroke and broke her hip, which led to magazines writing about her declining health. “Well, through the years they’ve said I’m broke, homeless, cheating, drinking, gone crazy, terminally ill, and even dead!” she wrote on Facebook. “Poor things can’t ever get it right.”
I can’t wait for this show. I know it’s going to be amazing….and surely that’s a typo, I’m not 90, am I!? #justanumber #ageishowyoufeel #ifeeIyoung #stillwomanenough #dontneedyourrockingchair #familytradition #mygirlontheopry #fullcircle #countryinourgenes #opryproud pic.twitter.com/HvruHDRAD2
— Loretta Lynn (@LorettaLynn) April 9, 2022
Before turning 89, Lynn released her milestone 50th studio album and she is still recording music.
“She’s still up over there on that hill, writing music,” granddaughter Tayla said, adding that she’s always been modest about her success.
“She is so humble,” she said. “But she’s also one of the wisest women I’ve ever met. So I think she probably has an inkling that she’s made a move or two in the music business.”
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) April 14, 2022
In honor of her birthday, the Grand Ole Opry held a special tribute concert, honoring one of the Opry’s “most beloved and celebrated members.”
Happy birthday, Loretta Lynn, and many more to come.