She leaves behind an incredible legacy, as the Country Music Hall of Famer boasts a whopping 51 Top 10 hits, has won multiple Grammy Awards, and was the first woman to win the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards for Entertainer of the Year.
It was a sad day for country music, indeed, and tons of tributes, stories, photos and videos of Loretta have been pouring in, with many country stars reacting to her death and talking about how much Loretta and her music meant to them.
And last night, Kentucky native Carly Pearce appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, where Mrs. Loretta was a member for many decades, and of course, paid tribute to her with a beautiful rendition of “Dear Miss Loretta.”
Carly debuted that song at the Opry last year, saying she now understood so much of the struggles that Loretta sang about so openly in her songs:
“So, I wrote this song as a letter to Loretta, I’ve never met her but we have a lot in common.
And I think over the last year and a half I’ve understood her songs and the way that she told her truth a lot more than I ever thought I would.”
You can watch part of that here:
I’ve always loved her, but it wasn’t until the last year that I really FELT what she’s sang about all these years— and just how much we really do have in common. Thank you @LorettaLynn , for making me feel like it’s okay to write my truth and be unashamed.. just like you. 🤍 pic.twitter.com/ElPb1nOpql
From her fantastic 2021 29: Written In Stone record, Carly introduced the song last night by speaking a little bit about what Loretta meant to her:
“We absolutely lost one of the greatest that there ever was and will be. And as I stand here tonight, I feel overwhelmed with just the legacy and the beauty that she is and she was.
And she heard me, which is quite crazy to me, I played this song on the Opry stage, I debuted it, just like I’m gonna do it tonight.
Loretta happened to be watching the live stream of the Grand Ole Opry and heard me sing this song.”
And not only did Carly play that incredible song for the audience, she played a phone message she got from Loretta the night she debuted it after Loretta saw it on the livestream.
Like Carly mentions, she’s never shared it publicly before, but the message embodies what made Loretta such a beloved icon in country music, and we will certainly never have another one like her:
“And I’ve never played this for anybody publicly, but I felt like tonight, standing on the Opry stage and in the circle, that the honky tonk angel, which she is now officially a honky tonk angel, that maybe she wants me to do this. So this is a message that I got from Loretta Lynn last year.
‘Hi Carly, this is Loretta honey. And I’m laying here in bed, just taking it easy, and I’m fixin’ to get up and wash my face maybe, comb my hair. I don’t know, I ain’t got no place to go, have I? Anyway, I love your song, thank you sweetheart, I love you honey. Come and see me sometime.’
I’ve listened to that message a lot today, and if that does not capture the purest form and the essence of her beautiful soul, I don’t know what else does. So I love you too, Loretta, and I’m gonna sing your song for you tonight.”
An absolutely flawless performance from Carly that I know would’ve made Loretta very proud:
Carly’s studio cut for her album also features vocals from Patty Loveless: