Dolly Parton, Sissy Spacek and more pay tribute to Loretta Lynn

Dolly Parton, Sissy Spacek and more pay tribute to Loretta Lynn
6 min read

The love for Loretta Lynn flowed freely Tuesday after news of her death at the age of 90 was announced.

Lynn was mourned on social media by friends and fans who admired the pioneering woman of country music, whose story was told in the 1980 film “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

Actress Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar for portraying Lynn in the film, said she is “heartbroken” over the death of the country music star.

“Today is a sad day. The world lost a magnificent human being. Loretta Lynn was a great artist, a strong and resilient country music pioneer and a precious friend. I am heartbroken. I send my deepest sympathies to her wonderful family, her friends, and her loyal fans,” Spacek said in a statement to CNN.

Dolly Parton, who was close to Lynn, posted a statement on social media, which began, “So sorry to hear about my sister, friend Loretta.”

“We’ve been like sisters all the years we’ve been in Nashville and she was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I’m one of them,” Parton wrote. “I miss her dearly as we all will. May she rest in peace.”​​​​​​​

Singer Martina McBride posted on her verified Instagram account a throwback photo of her and Lynn.

“It’s so hard to feel like you have the right words. I can hear Loretta saying ‘just take your time honey,’” McBride wrote in the caption. “We all loved her so much. There will never be another like her. I am so grateful that I got to know her, to spend time with her, laugh with her…..I was always a little astonished when she called me her friend.”

Legendary songwriter Carole King tweeted a photo of Lynn smiling at a piano, writing, “She was an inspiration. R.I.P. Loretta Lynn.”

Country singer Kacey Musgraves kept it brief, tweeting simply “Loretta” with a broken heart emoji.

Country music icon Loretta Lynn dies at 90

Loretta Lynn, the country music star who brought unparalleled candor about the domestic realities of working-class women to country songwriting, died at her home in Tennessee on Tuesday. She was 90.


Country music icon Loretta Lynn died today. She 90 years old, and her family says she died peacefully in her sleep.


Loretta Lynn brought unparalleled candor about the domestic realities of women class-working to country songwriting. And she taught those who came after her to speak their minds, too.

SUMMERS: When a movie was made about her life, Lynn became a prominent pop culture figure, but she never compromised her down-home sensibilities. WNXP's Jewly Hight has this appreciation.

JEWLY HIGHT, BYLINE: One of the biggest songs of Loretta Lynn's career proudly recounted her hardscrabble background.


LORETTA LYNN: (Singing) Well, I was born a coal miner's daughter in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler. We were poor, but we had love. That's the one thing that Daddy made sure of. He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar.​​​​​​​


HIGHT: Lynn never tired of telling stories of her upbringing in a remote coal mining community in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. In a 2000 NPR interview, she recalled how her parents, Melvin and Clara Webb, did whatever it took to feed their eight children, even if it meant accepting a relative's gift of a stolen chicken.

LYNN: There was many times we went to bed hungry and wake up in the middle of the night, 3 o'clock in the morning. We'd smell chicken cooking. Mom would get us up and let us eat and go back to bed.

HIGHT: Loretta Webb was barely a teenager when she started a family of her own with a 21-year-old former soldier, Oliver Lynn, better known as Mooney or Doolittle. They wasted no time having the first four of their six children and migrated to Washington state. It was there that her husband heard her bedtime lullabies and pushed her to start performing publicly. In a 2010 interview with WHYY's Fresh Air, Loretta Lynn insisted she wouldn't have done it otherwise.

LYNN: I wouldn't get out in front of people. I wouldn't - you know, I was really bashful, and I wouldn't - I would never sing in front of anybody.

HIGHT: Once her husband started scrounging up paying gigs for her, Loretta taught herself to write songs, says country music historian and journalist Robert Oermann.

ROBERT OERMANN: She got a copy of Country Song Roundup, and this is a magazine that has country lyrics printed in it along with stories about the stars. And she would read the country lyrics in the magazine, and she'd go, well, that's nothing. I can do that, 'cause she could and had been.


LYNN: (Singing) So turn that jukebox way up high, and fill my glass up while I cry. I've lost everything in this world, and now I'm a honky tonk girl.

HIGHT: Lynn and her husband drove around to radio stations. She would introduce herself to the DJs and try to charm them into spinning her record. The couple's efforts begun to get her notice when they landed in Nashville in 1960. Artists like Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline, who became Lynn's mentor, were having a lot of success with the lush, pop-sweetened production style known as the Nashville sound. Lynn worked with Cline's producer Owen Bradley but hung onto her unsoftened twang.

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