Legendary country singer Loretta Lynn has died at the age of 90, according to The New York Times and multiple other sources. She died today at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Her family confirmed her death in a statement given to the Associated Press. Entertainment Tonight reports that she died of natural causes.
Lynn had 51 top 10 songs, 16 country #1 hits and she released more than 50 albums. She holds a place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She has been a member of the Grande Ole Opry since 1962. In 2010, she took home her fourth GRAMMY when she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Loretta Lynn started in the music business when male artists dominated country music, but she became a huge voice for women, telling their stories through songs like “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Rated X,” “Fist City” and “The Pill.” In “Hey Loretta,” a humorous 1973 hit written by the cartoonist Shel Silverstein (who also wrote Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”), she sang, “You can feed the chickens and you can milk the cow/This woman’s liberation, honey, is gonna start right now.” Silverstein also wrote “One’s on the Way,” a No. 1 country hit for Lynn in 1971.
Her autobiographical song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” was also the title of her 1976 autobiography. That was later adapted for the 1980 film, Coal Miner’s Daughter. Sissy Spacek played Lynn, and won an Oscar for the role.
Lynn had a big comeback in 2004, when rock star Jack White of the White Stripes produced Loretta Lynn’s Grammy-winning album, Van Lear Rose. Her most recent album was 2021’s Still Woman Enough.