Loretta Lynn is one of country music's prolific singers, known for the strength and quality of her voice and her down to earth personality, quick wit and humor. She is known for her hit songs like You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man), Don't Come Home A' Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind), One's on the Way, and Fist City.
Music Career and Awards
The 86-year-old has received numerous accolades for her 7-decade-long career becoming the most awarded female country recording artist. She has released 59 studio albums, 2 live albums, 26 compilation albums, 5 video albums, and 2 box sets.
The only female ACM Artist of the Decade (1970s), Lynn has scored 11 number one albums and has sold over 45 million albums worldwide. She married talent manager, Oliver Vanetta "Doolittle" Lynn at the age of 15. Doolittle, who gifted her a Harmony guitar, encouraged her to a music career.
She addressed blue-collar women’s issues like philandering husband and extra-marital affairs. She focused on her marriage issues in the song, Fist City. She crossed the barriers in conservative genre of country music by singing about a double standard for men & women, birth control, being windowed during the Vietnam War and more.
Her autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter (1976) adapted into an Oscar-winning movie of the same name in 1980, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones.
Mother of six, Loretta gave birth to her first daughter, Betty Sue Lynn, in 1948, as a teenager. Betty died of emphysema in 2013. Her son, Jack Benny Lynn (born 1949), died in 1984 while trying to cross Duck River in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Her twin daughters, Peggy Jean, and Patsy Eileen Lynn, have followed her footsteps. They are famous as a country music duo. She faced numerous problems throughout her almost 50 years long marriage with Doolittle, but the two remained intact until Doolittle’s death in 1996.
“I married Doo when I wasn't but a child, and he was my life from that day on. 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. And just remember, I'm explainin', not excusin'... Doo was a good man and a hard worker. But he was an alcoholic, and it affected our marriage all the way through.”
In May 2017, Lynn suffered a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee and was rushed to a Nashville hospital. She canceled her tour dates and postponed her releases. In January 2018, she suffered a broken hip after she fell at her home. However, she isn’t letting her health battles get in the way of her lifelong passion.
She is still writing songs. She says that music is still an important part of her life and hopes to make it a priority moving forward. Talking about how she has been writing songs recently, she said,
“I've done quite a bit. I want to get back into it real good, though, like I used to. I used to write all the time, now I'm just writing when I want to and that's not good, because I don't want to do it.”
Her latest album, Wouldn't It Be Great - released in September 2018 after health-related delays - received critical acclaim. Lynn has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry - a weekly country music stage concert - since 1962.
She will celebrate her 87th birthday with a massive A-list tribute concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on April 1, two weeks before the actual birthday. Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, and more stars will take the stage celebrating her legacy.
Loretta Lynn has a net worth of $65 million. She owns “Loretta Lynn’s Ranch” in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, which is billed as the “7th largest attraction in Tennessee.”