Loretta Lynn, country singer of love and hardship, dies aged 90 | Loretta Lynn

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Loretta Lynn, whose tales of heartbreak and poverty are among the most celebrated in the country music canon, has died aged 90.

Lynn died at home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on Oct. 4, her family confirmed.

Starting with 1966’s Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on)
Your Mind), she topped the US charts 16 times and was nominated for 18 Grammy awards, winning three of them. She recorded a total of 60 studio albums.

Born Loretta Webb in a one-room country cabin in Kentucky in 1932, Lynn was one of eight siblings and the daughter of a miner—a fact that led to her signature song, 1970’s Coal Miner’s Daughter.

She married 21-year-old Oliver Lynn at age 15, a month after meeting him. Despite Oliver’s frequent infidelity and struggles with alcoholism, the couple remained together for 48 years, until Oliver died in 1996. They had six children together, three of them before Lynn was 20.

Oliver bought her a guitar as a birthday present in 1953, and Lynn formed a band with her brother Jay Lee, Loretta and the Trailblazers, while living as a housewife, now in Washington State. She started writing her own songs and released her debut single, I’m a Honky-Tonk Girl, in 1960. It was released on a small independent label, and she and Oliver stubbornly self-marketed the single from one nationwide radio station to another. “Because we were too poor to stay in hotels, we slept in the car and ate baloney and cheese sandwiches in the parks… we were on the road for three months,” she later recalled. The song was a success, reaching the top 20 in the country and leading to her being signed by a major label, Decca.

I’m a Honky-Tonk Girl was inspired by the story of someone Lynn met and befriended, and the subject – a woman devastated by a breakup – would be revisited time and again by Lynn, whose songs often set heartbreaks or damaging relationships. , and often featured feisty heroines. Her second No. 1, Fist City, was a threat to other women not to get near her husband, while another hit from the country, Rated X, tackled the stigma of divorce; 1975’s The Pill hit the charts with its controversial candid celebration of birth control.

She maintained a high release rate, with at least two and as many as four albums a year between 1964 and 1976. In addition to solo releases, she worked with country stars such as Conway Twitty, with whom she recorded 10 duet albums, and Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette for the 1993 album Honky Tonk Angels. She recorded with kd lang, and also had a friendship with Patsy Cline, recording a tribute to her after Cline died in a plane crash in 1963.

Lynn’s release rate slowed from the mid-1980s, but she had a high-profile resurgence in 2004 with the album Van Lear Rose, produced by Jack White of the White Stripes. It became her highest-performing album on the US charts to date, followed by her best-performing album ever, 2016’s Full Circle, which featured duets with Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello. Her most recent album is Would Not It Be Great from 2018.

Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek in Miner’s Daughter. Photo: Everett Collection/Rex Feature

She wrote a successful autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter, in 1976 and her life story inspired a 1980 biopic of the same name. It starred Sissy Spacek as Lynn and earned seven Oscar nominations, with Spacek winning best actress for her performance.

Lynn leaves behind four of her six children: Clara, Ernest and twins Peggy and Patsy.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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