It is with a heavy heart to say that country music icon and pioneer Loretta Lynn has passed away at the age of 90.
Her family shared the news on her Instagram account today, stating that she died today at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee:
“‘Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills.’ The family of Loretta Lynn.
The family has asked for privacy during this time, as they grieve. An announcement regarding a memorial will be forthcoming in a public announcement.”
The Butcher Hollow, Kentucky native was truly a pioneer for women in the country music genre, racking up 51 top 10 hits, multiple Gammy Awards, and was the first female to win the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards for Entertainer of the Year.
Needless to say, she’s reached a ton of achievements over her impressive 60 year career, and although she lived a long and fruitful life, it still doesn’t feel real.
I’ve found myself reliving some of her best moments over the years, and I can’t help but keep going back to her legendary statement about the current state of country music.
As one of country music’s greatest pioneers, she was also one of it’s most vocal defenders. Never one to shy away from speaking her mind, Loretta tore into the format, calling it “ridiculous,” “sad,” and even “dead.”
In an episode of Martina McBride’s podcast, Vocal Point with Martina McBride, from a few years back, she definitely did not hold back when asked about the “death” of country music”
“They’re letting country music die. They’ve already let it. I think it’s dead. I think it’s a shame… I think it’s a shame to let a type of music die.
I don’t care what any kind of music it is. Rock, country, whatever. I think it’s a shame to let it die, and I’m here to start feeding it.”
Needless to say, she wasn’t hiding her emotions about it either, as she was very strong on her stance:
“Yeah. I’m getting mad about it. I am, because it’s ridiculous. I’m not happy at all. I think that they’re completely losing it. And I think that’s a sad situation because we should never let country music die.
I think that every type of music should be saved, and country is one of the greatest. It’s been around, as far as I’m concerned, longer than any of it.”
However, when Alan Jackson released what he claimed to be his country-est country album to date, Where Have You Gone, last year, Lynn was relieved to see there was still an artist out there committed to releasing true, traditional country music:
“Just when I thought country music was near gone, Alan Jackson brings it back to life! What an album, he’s given us.
Y’all go listen to it right now. Alan, thank you honey for keeping it country!”
Needless to say, she’s talking about mainstream country music and the kind of pop crap you hear on the radio these days, but nevertheless, she always told it like it was.
Of course, if you want to find some true country music, look no further than her own home state of Kentucky with the likes of Tyler Childers, Kelsey Waldon, Benjamin Tod, Ian Noe, Cole Chaney, Chris Stapleton, and more. And if you want to head on into West Virginia you have Charles Wesley Godwin, Sierra Ferrell, John R. Miller and more.
All that being said, country music needs more apologetic honesty like we’ve come to know and love for Loretta.
RIP to one of the best to ever do it.