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Loretta Lynn

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Jack White with Loretta Lynn at the 2005 Grammy Awards
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Loretta Lynn on the cover of her album Who Was That Stranger

Loretta Lynn (born April 14, 1935) is an American country singer.

She was born in Butcher Hollow, a small community in Johnson County, Kentucky, and was married at age 13 to Oliver Vanetta Lynn (commonly known as "Doolittle", "Doo", or "Mooney"), with whom she had four children by the time she was 17. She has released 70 albums and had 17 number 1 albums and 27 number 1 singles. Her first single was "Honky Tonk Girl" which reached number 14 on the Billboard singles chart. She made several albums with Conway Twitty. Her younger sister, Crystal Gayle, is a well-known country singer in her own right.

Lynn was close friends with country music legend Patsy Cline, and was devastated by her death.

Poet Shel Silverstein wrote Lynn's hit song One's on the Way.

Loretta Lynn has also written two autobiographies, Coal Miner's Daughter and Still Woman Enough. The first was also made into a film starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta. There was some speculation that Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakely), the centerpiece character in the 1975 Robert Altman classic Nashville, was based at least in part on Lynn.

In the early 1980's Lynn experienced personal and professional loss. Her music began to fall into a funk and she lost a son in a freak accident. In addition Lynn's mother lost her battle with cancer.

In 1993 Lynn lost her duet partner Conway Twitty and in 1996 Loretta's husband Mooney lost his long battle with Diabetes.

Lynn was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was named "Artist of the Decade" for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music.

In 2004, she made a comeback with the highly successful album Van Lear Rose, produced by and featuring the guitar playing of Jack White, reaching new audiences and new generations and even garnering airplay on rock radio.

At the end of 2004 it was announced that Loretta was nominated for five Grammy Awards including, Best Country Song ("Miss Being Mrs." and "Portland Oregon"), Best Country Album (Van Lear Rose), Best Country Collaboration with Vocals ("Portland Oregon" with Jack White), and Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("Miss Being Mrs.")

At the 2005 Grammys Loretta won for Best Country Album and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

Contents

Controversies

In her heyday, Lynn was no stranger to controversy. She had more banned songs than any other artist in the history of country music, including Rated X (about the double standards divorced women face), Wings Upon Your Horns (about the loss of teenage virginity), and most famous, The Pill (about a wife and mother becoming liberated via birth control).

In 1988 she campaigned for Presidential nominee George Herbert Walker Bush and made fun of Michael Dukakis' last name.

Discography

For a complete listing of the albums and singles see Loretta's Home page (http://www.lorettalynn.com).

Further Reading

  • In The Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music, Nicholas Dawidoff, Vintage Books, 1998. ISBN 0-375-70082-X
  • Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock, Peter Dogget, Penguin Books, 2001. ISBN 0-140-26108-7
  • Dreaming Out Loud: Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Wade Hayes and the changing face of Nashville, Bruce Feiler, Avon Books, 1998. ISBN 0-380-97578-5

See also

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