Dolly Parton Pens Heartbreaking Tribute To Friend Loretta Lynn

Country music icon Loretta Lynn has died at the age of 90. "Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills," wrote the family in a heartbreaking social media statement. They have asked for "privacy" as they grieve, noting, "An announcement regarding a memorial will be forthcoming."

Lynn rose to stardom in 1960 after the release of her hit song, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," which she went on to perform at the historic Grand Ole Opry (via The New York Times). In the decades since achieving icon status, the singer was named the 1970s' "Artist of the Decade" by The Academy of Country Music, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, and made the subject of a 1980 biopic, "Coal Miner's Daughter," based off of her song and autobiography of the same name.

Throughout her decades as a genre-defining country singer, Lynn maintained powerful friendships with her female contemporaries. Up until Patsy Cline's tragic death in 1963, Lynn was her close friend and confidant. "After I met Patsy, life got better for me because I fought back," Lynn explained to Nashville Scene (via Wide Open Country). Lynn's daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, was even named after Cline. The "Honky Tonk" singer also had a close relationship with country superstar Dolly Parton.

Dolly Parton saw Loretta Lynn as a sister

Following the announcement of Loretta Lynn's death on October 4, "Jolene" singer Dolly Parton released a heartbreaking statement. "So sorry to hear about my sister, friend Loretta," Parton wrote on her official Instagram. "We've been like sisters all these years we've been in Nashville and she was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I'm one of them." The singer finished her post by saying, "I miss her dearly as we all will. May she rest in peace." 

Lynn was outspoken about her love of Dolly Parton and is quoted as saying, "I get along with all the women singers, but especially Dolly Parton. We talk the same hillbilly language" (via American Songwriter).

On Loretta Lynn's 90th birthday in April, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Maren Morris, and Garth Brooks (among others) came together to release a touching tribute video to her, per Rolling Stone. The video, which Lynn's team later posted on the singer's Instagram, ends with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" sung by none other than Dolly Parton. "Happy 90th birthday to the Queen of Country!" reads the caption.