Country music legend Loretta Lynn has died. Her family said in a statement: “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills.” A cause of death has not been revealed. Lynn was 90 years old.
Born Loretta Webb in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, Lynn was the daughter of a coal miner, as she sang on her signature 1970 song ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’. At the age of 15, she married Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn and moved to Washington, where she started performing at clubs. In 1960, she released her first single, ‘I’m a Honky Tonk Girl’, which became a country hit and led to her making her first Grand Ole Opry appearance that same year. Lynn issued her debut album, Loretta Lynn Sings, on Decca Records in 1963, and went on to find success with a stream of singles in the ’60s and ’70s, including ‘Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)’, ‘You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)’, ‘Fist City’, ‘One’s on the Way’, ‘Rated ‘X’, and ‘Trouble in Paradise’. ‘The Pill’, a birth control anthem that Lynn co-wrote in 1975, was banned by some stations but became her biggest crossover hit, landing at No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1976, Lynn published her memoir Coal Miner’s Daughter, which chronicled her rise to fame and was adapted into a 1980 movie starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta, Tommy Lee Jones as her husband, and Levon Helm as her father. It earned Sissy Spacek the Oscar for Best Actress, and the film was nominated for Best Picture. Along with her success as a solo artist, Lynn also scored several chart-topping duets with Conway Twitty. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.
In 2000, Lynn put out her first studio album in over a decade, Still Country, which was followed in 2004 by the Jack White collaboration Van Lear Rose. Lynn continued to perform and record music throughout the 21st century. 2016’s Full Circle reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200, her highest peak on the chart. Lynn’s final album was last year’s Still Woman Enough, which featured contributions from Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, and Margo Price.
In lieu of flowers, Lynn’s family is asking for donations to be made to the Loretta Lynn Foundation.