Over the years, Loretta Lynn suffered from various health concerns, including pneumonia on multiple occasions and a broken arm after a fall at home. In 2010, Lynn missed a tribute to her from other women of country music due to undergoing knee surgery.
In May 2017, Lynn had a stroke at her Hurricane Mills, Tennessee home. She was taken to a Nashville hospital and subsequently had to cancel all of her upcoming tour dates. The release of her album Wouldn’t It Be Great was delayed until 2018. On January 1, 2018, Lynn fell and broke her hip.
Lynn died in her sleep at her home in Hurricane Mills on October 4, 2022, at the age of 90.
Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music.
Lynn wrote more than 160 songs and released 60 albums. She had 10 No. 1 albums and 16 No. 1 singles on the country charts. Lynn won three Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards; eight Broadcast Music Incorporated awards, 13 Academy of Country Music, eight Country Music Association, and 26 fan-voted Music City News awards. Lynn remains the most awarded woman in country music. She was the first woman in country music to receive a certified gold album for 1967’s “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).”
In 1972, Lynn was the first woman named “Entertainer of the Year” by the Country Music Association. In 1980, Lynn was the only woman named “Artist of the Decade” for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music. Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999. She was also the recipient of Kennedy Center Honors, an award the U.S. president gave in 2003. Lynn is ranked 65th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll and was the first female country artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1977. In 1994, she received the country music pioneer award from the Academy of Country Music.
In 2001, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was named among NPR’s “100 Most Significant Songs of the 20th Century”. In 2002, Lynn had the highest ranking, No. 3, for any living female, in CMT television’s special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music.
A BMI affiliate for more than 45 years, Lynn was honoured as a BMI Icon at the BMI Country Awards on November 4, 2004.
In March 2007, Lynn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music during her performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
Lynn was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City In 2008. She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 years in country music in 2010.
Lynn was honoured for 50 years in country music at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on November 10, 2010. That same year, Lynn was presented with a rose named in her honour.
Lynn marked her 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member on September 25, 2012, and her 60th anniversary in 2022.
Barack Obama awarded Lynn the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Miranda Lambert presented Lynn with the Crystal Milestone Award from the Academy of Country Music. Lynn also received the 2015 Billboard Legacy Award for Women in Music.
In 2016, she was the subject of an American Masters profile documentary Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl, on PBS.
Lynn was named Artist of a Lifetime in 2018 by CMT.
In 2020 a statue of Loretta Lynn was unveiled on Ryman’s Icon Walk.
In a statement, her family released the following: “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills. They asked for privacy as they grieved and said a memorial would be announced later.
Lynn already had four children before launching her career in the early 1960s, and her songs reflected her pride in her rural Kentucky background.
As a songwriter, she crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.
Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and ’70s, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “The Pill,” “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Rated X” and “You’re Looking at Country.” She was known for appearing in floor-length, wide gowns with elaborate embroidery or rhinestones, many created by her longtime personal assistant and designer Tim Cobb.
Her honesty and unique place in country music were rewarded. She was the first woman ever named entertainer of the year at the genre’s two major awards shows, first by the Country Music Association in 1972 and then by the Academy of Country Music three years later.