American country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn, 1970. (Photo by Sylvia Pitcher/Redferns)
The Heartbreaking Death of Loretta Lynn
Lifestyle - News
The Washington Post has reported the death of country music icon Loretta Lynn, 90. Lynn's family released a statement to the Associated Press, “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills.”
Lynn signed a contract at 28 years old, having taken up performing following a decade of motherhood. Her first song titled “I'm a Honky Tonk Girl” hit No. 14 on the country music charts. Lynn's distinctive voice attracted the attention of the Wilburn Brothers, who asked her to tour with them; she and her family would move to Nashville shortly thereafter.
Before Lynn, country music was dominated by male voices singing about the American West, hard work, and patriotism — with women often seen as the sidekicks to these men. However, Lynn broke down those barriers with her heartbreaking songs that spoke of real emotions.
One of Loretta Lynn's most controversial and celebrated songs was her 1975 tune titled “The Pill,” which celebrated birth control and the freedom it offered to married women who did not want or could not afford another baby. She told People Magazine, “My mama's just sorry she didn't have the pill so she wouldn't have had eight of us to feed.”
Loretta Lynn entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2003, won two Grammys in 2004, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. Over the course of her 60 years in the business, Lynn sold more than 45 million records and scored 24 No. 1 singles.