Loretta Lynn, ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ icon and country singer, dead at 90


Country music legend Loretta Lynn has died at the age of 90.

The 4-time Grammy winner — whose glittering career spanned six decades — passed away Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

Her family confirmed the news in a statement provided to the Associated Press, but did not disclose a cause of death.

Lynn — who was raised by a coal miner in rural Kentucky — became a worldwide sensation with her 1971 track “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

However, the singer-songwriter used her poverty-stricken Appalachian childhood as the basis for dozens of her other hit songs.

The Country Music Hall of Famer also 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.

“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.”

Lynn is seen posing with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.
Lynn is seen posing with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.
AP
Lynn is seen receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2013.
Lynn is seen receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2013.
Getty Images

Lynn was born Loretta Webb in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky in 1932 — the second of eight children. Her father died at the age of 52 from black lung disease which was caused by long-term exposure to coal dust.

At the age 15, she married Oliver Vanetta Lynn, taking his surname and officially becoming Loretta Lynn.

Shortly after, the couple left Kentucky and moved to Washington state, where the turbulent early years of their marriage inspired Lynn to start her songwriting.

At the age of 21, Lynn’s husband bought her her first guitar, which she taught herself how to play over a period of three years.

At the time, Lynn was already a mom to four young children, juggling domestic duties with her passion for music.

She eventually began playing in taverns and soon became a popular figure in the local country music scene. In 1960, at the age of 28, she cut her first record: “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.”

Lynn is pictured in Nashville in 1962 — two years after she cut her first record.
Lynn is pictured in Nashville in 1962 — two years after she cut her first record.
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