Country music legend Loretta Lynn died at her ranch in Tennessee on Tuesday morning (October 4). She was 90.
Lynn’s family shared a shared a statement on her social media channels, reading:
“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 added in another tweet on Lynn’s account: “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 Holler, Kentucky-born singer was born on April 14, 1932. The beloved trailblazer was a self-taught singer and guitarist, and she landed her first recording contract on February 1, 1960, according to her bio, going on to push boundaries with her music. Lynn often pulled from her own life experiences, and advocated for her music even when her songs were banned, iHeartCountry noted as Lynn celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year. Lynn’s career spans her very first No. 1 single, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl,” to recent projects like her 50th studio album (not including her collaborations with Conway Twitty) Still Woman Enough, which released in 2021.
“To make it in this business, you either have to be first, great or different,” Lynn previously said in a statement. “And I was the first to ever go into Nashville, singin’ it like the women lived it. …Before I was singing, I cleaned house; I took in laundry; I picked berries. I worked seven days a week. I was a housewife and mother for 15 years before I was an entertainer. And it wasn’t like being a housewife today. It was doing hand laundry on a board and cooking on an old coal stove. I grew a garden and canned what I grew. That’s what’s real. I know how to survive. After he [Lynn’s husband] got me the guitar, I went out and bought a Country Song Roundup. I looked at the songs in there and thought, ‘Well, this ain’t nothing. Anybody can do this.’ I just wrote about things that happened. I was writing about things that nobody talked about in public, and I didn’t realize that they didn’t. I was having babies and staying at home. I was writing about life. That’s why I had songs banned.”
Lynn married her husband of nearly five decades, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, when she was 15 years old and he was 21. The iconic artist’s bio describes her late husband, “Doo,” as a “war veteran with a reputation as a hell raiser.” After the family moved to Washington and Lynn “turned to music for solace,” Doo bought the guitar and encouraged her to play. He advocated for her to perform in local clubs. That’s how executives heard Lynn play, and she recorded her debut single, “Honky Tonk Angel.” The smash-hit song prompted the family to come to Nashville, Tennessee, where Lynn became a regular performer at the Grand Ole Opry.
She made her debut on that iconic stage on October 15, 1960. Lynn garnered dozens of Top 10 hits throughout her career, won GRAMMY awards, seven American Music Awards, eight Country Music Association awards, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and more, according to a statement and obituary. Lynn made history as the first woman to win the CMA and Academy of Country Music awards for Entertainer of the Year. was a trailblazer for women in country music — and women everywhere — as she released “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Fist City” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” among many others.
Lynn spent most of her time at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, along with her four surviving children and her pets. Lynn treasured memories with her late children, her eldest Betty Sue and Jack, and called her kids her “absolute best friends.” Her obituary reads that she is survived by her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn and her son Ernest Ray Lynn as well as grandchildren Lori Lynn Smith, Ethan Lyell, Elizabeth Braun, Tayla Lynn, Jack Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn Jr., Katherine Condya, Alexandria Lynn, Jasyntha Connelly, Megan Horkins, Anthony Brutto, Jason Lynn, Wesley Lynn, Levi Lynn, Emmy Rose Russell, David Russell, Lucca Marchetti and step grandchildren David Greer, Jennafer Russell, Melody Russell and Natalie Rapp, and her great-grandchildren.