Loretta Lynn, Country Music Icon, Dead At 90 And Musicians React

Country music legend Loretta Lynn has died.

By Mark McKee | Published

Country music icon and inspiration for the Oscar-winning film, The Coal Miner’s Daughter, has died in her home at the age of 90. In her last years, she persevered through falls and a stroke but persisted through the sheer will she displayed her entire life. In a statement provided to The Associated Press by her family, Lynn passed away peacefully in her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on Tuesday, sparking social media response from the industry. 

Loretta Lynn already had four children when she started her career in the 1960s when her album, Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin, hit number one in 1967, becoming the first female country artist to reach 500,000 sales. She followed that up with seven more top ten hits and three number ones over the next three years, including her most famous hit, “You Aint Woman Enough (to Take My Man).” 1970 brought her next number one hit in the autobiographical song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” 

Also, in 1970, Loretta Lynn developed a professional partnership with another country music legend, Conway Twitty, which grew into one of the most successful musical duos in the industry’s history. The pair scored five consecutive number one hits between 1971 and 1975, including “After the Fire Is Gone” (1971), winning them a Grammy award, “Lead Me On” (1971), “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” (1973), “As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone” (1974), and “Feelins” (1974). The duo was voted the number one country music duo by virtually every publication from 1971 to 1981 and released nearly a dozen top ten hits in that time frame. 

loretta lynn
Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner’s Daughter

In March of 1980, Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones starred in the film based on Loretta Lynn’s life called The Coal Miner’s Daughter. The film received seven Academy Award nominations, winning Best Actress for Spacek, a gold album for the soundtrack album, a Grammy nomination for Sissy Spacek, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards, and several Golden Globe awards. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes gives it a solid 86% and 85% from critics and audiences, respectfully. And it grossed $67.18 million in North America against a budget of $15 million, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of 1980.

Loretta Lynn spent nearly five decades married to her husband, Doolittle “Mooney” Lynn, in a marriage she called one of the hardest love stories. In her second autobiography, Still Woman Enough, she revealed that her husband cheated on her regularly and even walked out on her while giving birth; she also said he never hit her once that she didn’t hit him back twice. He died in 1996, and she said in a CBS interview that same year that she stuck with him because he believed in her in ways others wouldn’t, which would be hard to shove out the door. 

Celebrities responded to the death of Loretta Lynn by taking to social media to give their condolences. Reba McEntire compared the country music icon to her mother and was joyous that they were now together and could keep each other company. Dolly Parton recounted their decades-long friendship in Nashville and commended her on her nearly 60 years of touring before having to step away for health concerns. The country music industry lost a legend when the curtain came down on Loretta Lynn.