I don’t know if there’s another person on the planet who can say the first time they met Loretta Lynn was after she smacked them on the rear end.
But apparently, that was Carrie Underwood’s first interaction with the country legend.
Loretta sadly passed away this morning at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, at age 90, and the tributes and stories about one of the all-time greats have been pouring in all day.
Carrie took some time to type out a sweet post on Instagram, telling the funny story of their first meeting at the Grand Ole Opry many years ago when she was first getting started, and how that moment summed up every great thing about the Kentucky icon.
Carrie also added that, like many of us, she loved how Loretta was “never afraid to be herself and speak her mind”:
“The first time I met Loretta Lynn was at the Grand Ole Opry at beginning of my career. I was chatting in the corner with another artist and someone walked behind me and smacked me on the rear end!
I turned around and there she was…in a big sparkly dress…laughing as she continued to walk down the hall at what she had just done…
This is one of my most favorite stories to tell. I think it sums up her personality pretty well. She was a cantankerous little pistol…friendly and sweet…never afraid to be herself and speak her mind.”
Loretta was truly one of a kind, and I can just picture her in her classic floor-length ball gowns she became so famous for strutting away after catching Carrie off guard like that.
I mean, if I’m back stage at the Opry and don’t know who just smacked my butt, only to turn around and see that it was Loretta Lynn herself, I’m gonna consider that an all-time great story and iconic moment, and it sounds like thats exactly how Carrie felt about it too.
Carrie continued, saying that she has always been inspired by Loretta’s career and has been greatly influenced by her work:
“Over the years, I have had the honor of singing for her…and also with her…in some of the most special moments of my career. She is irreplaceable.
She will be incredibly missed…but her legacy lives on in those of us whom she has influenced. I am truly grateful to have known such an amazing woman and artist.
Thank you, Loretta, for showing us how it’s done. May you Rest In Peace in the arms of Jesus and add your heavenly voice to the angel choir. Love you!”
I don’t think anyone could have put it any better:
Like she mentioned in the post, Carrie has covered many of Loretta’s songs over the years, but one of my favorites is her cover of “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” at the 2020 ACM Awards in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry:
Carrie was also featured on the title track to Loretta’s 2021 record, Still Woman Enough, alongside Loretta and Reba McEntire: