Loretta Lyn is a known American country musician with a career longer than 50 years. She is one of the most awarded country singers and the first country female singer to perform in the White House.

Early years

Loretta was born on April 14, 1932, in a little coal-mining town called Butcher Hollow in Kentucky, She has seven siblings: fours brothers (Melvin, Herman, Willie, Donald) and three sisters (Reggy Sue, Betty Ruth, Brenda Gail) and she is the eldest daughter in the Webb family.

Her father Melvin died in 1959 when he was only 52, and Loretta was twenty years old. Her mother was named Clara Marie, and she died in 1981. Overall she had a pretty hard time coping with the death of her favorite people.

The family relocated to Wabash in Indiana in middle 50’s where her father first started showing symptoms of the black lung disease which is a known disease of coal workers. It is caused by coal dust which builds up in the lungs (similar to Katrina from tobacco).

In 1948, Loretta got married to Oliver Lynn, who was six years older than her but they were very much in love. She was twenty years old when Oliver bought her guitar because he heard her sing and wanted her to enjoy music even more.

Career development

She had no guitar lessons, but she taught herself to play. She was very enthusiastic about playing and decided that she will learn how to play, even without a teacher. Her husband encouraged her in her efforts all the time and even proposed her to start her band. That is how „Loretta and the Trailblazers“ were born. Her brother Jay Lee was a member of the band, and he played the guitar.

They had gigs mostly in Blaine and Custer in Washington. She was okay with having smaller gigs.

In 1960 she released her first single „I’m a Honky Tonk girl.“

„Grand Ole Opry,“ a weekly concert in Nashville and the longest running broadcast on any radio station in the United States ever, has her as a member since 1962. Her first No1 single came in 1967.

Loretta gained her name from a popular American actress called Loretta Young. Her father loved this actress, so he decided to name her after her.

Lynn’s career started in 50’s after she won a contest in Tacoma. Her performance was very interesting to a Canadian record label owner who offered her the release of her songs. „I’m a Honky Tonk Girl“ became a huge hit, and she signed a deal with the Decca Records.

She started appearing on „Grand Ole Opry“ in 1960’s which gave her career a great push. From this point, her career took a turn.

Her first single for the Decca Records was released in 1962 under the name „Success“ and became a hit.

She recorded two albums with a singer Ernest Tubb, called „Texas Troubadour“ and a pioneer of country music: „Singin Again“  and „If We Put Our Heads Together.“

In later 60’s Lynn, who wrote all of her songs, started to write more personal lyrics. She wrote about the war in Vietnam with „Dear Uncle Sam“ from 1966. She started writing feminist lyrics which was new in country music at that time.

She started releasing albums on a yearly basis, and most of the albums were sold out very quickly. She was a star on the rise.

Her hit „Coal Miner’s Daughter“ became No.1 on the Billboard Charts and was sold in millions. She continued her career successfully by five hit singles together, all No.1. „After the Fire is Gone“ brought them a Grammy Award.

After the release of the film „Coal Miner’s Daughter,“ she became an American Superstar.

She addressed many serious and difficult matters, and tabu’s in her songs, so they were banned from radio stations numerous times. She gained sympathy from people because she spoke about thigs other were afraid to mention.

She sang about bad marriages, about birth control (in the single „The Pill“), about emancipation and Vietnam War. She wanted to say that people should not encounter these in a life of this didn’t have to.

In 1976, she published her autobiography named „Coal Miner’s Daughter“ which became a bestseller after which a movie has been made. „Coal Miner’s Daughter“ came out in 1980 with Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek and the movie received one Oscar Award.

In 1983 she was inducted into Nashville Hall of Fame for Songwriters, and five years later she became a member of the „Country Music Hall of Fame.“

In 2004, she released an album called „Van Lear Rose“ which was nominated for five Grammy Awards and eventually gained two. In 2010 she was one of the honored artists to receive an award on Country Music Awards.

Barack Obama, President of the United States, awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award which can be received in the USA.

Lynn is one of the most fruitful artists in the USA ever: she released 70 albums, 15 compilations and sold over 50 million albums all over the world.

„Still Country“ was one of her last albums and the album included a song dedicated to her husband Oliver who died a few years before.

She released her new autobiography „Still Woman Enough“ in 2002 which became NY Times Best Seller. She also published „You’re Cookin It Country“ in 2004.

Her comeback came in 2004 with an album called „Van Lear Rose“ produced by a member of „The White Stripes“ – Jack White. This album won a Grammy for „Best Country Album.“

In 2012, she published her 4th book: an autobiography called „Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics.“

In 2016 she released an album „Full Circle“ after which „White Christmas Blue“ album was also released.

Personal life

Loretta was married to Oliver Lynn from 1942 until he died in 1998.

After she married Oliver, also known as „Doolittle“ they relocated to Custer in Washington, At that time she was pregnant with her first child. She gave birth to Betty Sue when she was only sixteen. After Betty, she gave birth to five more children: Jack Benny, Ernest Ray, Clara Marie and two twin daughters: Peggy and Patsy.

Her son Jack Benny died in a ranch accident when he was 34, and Betty Sue died in 2013, from emphysema. This means that she had to bury two of her children.

She has an amazing number of grandchildren: 27. To this moment she has 16 greatgrandchildren too. Her husband Oliver died in 1998, and after his death, she revealed how she had a very rocky and hard marriage due to the fact her husband often cheated her.

She even stated that they argued and fought a lot, even hit each other with those arguments. She also revealed that her husband was an alcoholic which was a very difficult burton for her to carry.

She lives in her big home in Hurricane Mills in Tennessee. She made her home one of the biggest attractions in that part of the states. She ordered that a studio, restaurant, and museums must be built on her property.

She has annual concerts on her ranch every year. This ranch is opened for tourists the whole year and she greats her fans whenever needed.

Her ranch is the central place of Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Motocross Championship. She also has a house in Mexico where she often went with her husband and twin daughters. Lynn also has a home in Canada where her husband loved to come to hunt.

In 2017, Lynn suffered a stroke which caused all of her tours to be canceled and her new album to delay its release.

Quick summary

Full name: Loretta Lynn

Date of birth: April 14, 1932

Birthplace:  Butcher Hollow, Kentucky

Age: 86

Profession: American country musician and songwriter

Height: 157 cm

Weight: 59 kgs

Net Worth: $20 million