The “Coal Miner’s Daughter” singer’s family announced the news on Tuesday, October 4. “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills, [Tennessee],” read a Twitter statement. “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 songwriter was a pioneer for women in country music, scoring 24 No. 1 hit singles and 11 No. 1 albums throughout her six decades in the genre. She was nominated for 18 Grammys over the years, winning three, and was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2013. Shortly before her death, Lynn celebrated her 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
“This coal miner’s daughter gave voice to a generation, singing what no one wanted to talk about and saying what no one wanted to think about,” Obama, 61, said at Lynn’s medal ceremony. “And now, over 50 years after she cut her first record … Loretta Lynn still reigns as the rule-breaking, record-setting queen of country music.”
After suffering a stroke in 2017, the “Don’t Come Come A-Drinkin'” artist ended her 57-year run of touring on the road. She broke her hip one year later.
Despite the challenges that emerged in her later career, Lynn remained one of the most influential voices for up-and-coming country artists. “There wasn’t that many women singing when I started. Yeah, it was all men. But we showed them,” she said on Southern Living’s “Biscuits & Jam” podcast in April 2021 while discussing her album Still Woman Enough.
The “Success” artist shed light on her songwriting process, explaining how she drew inspiration from her own life. “To write a song, I write about me a lot, you know? And [for] ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter,’ I sat down on the back porch of the old home place and just looked up the hill and started — ‘Well, I was born a coal miner’s daughter’ — and I wrote the song,” she recalled. “It’s like writing a poem and, you know, no big deal. When you’re hungry, you can find that you can do a lot of things that you didn’t know you could do.”
At the time, Lynn gushed over the many collaborators she brought in to work on her 50th studio record, from Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood to Margo Price. “Well, these are all my girlfriends, and I love them all. You know, I love these girls. And if they ever need me for anything, all they have to do is holler,” she said of her fellow country artists. “And because that’s all I had to do, you know? And I love these girls. Love them with all my heart.”
Scroll down to see how celebrities are paying tribute to Lynn after her death: