Life’s a party! Loretta Lynn enjoyed a rare night out at the 2019 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville on Wednesday, November 13.
“I just loved sitting front and center at the CMAs,” the country music legend, 87, tells Us Weekly exclusively. “I was so proud of all of the artists. I know what it’s like to sit there hoping they call your name out for an award.”
Lynn was “especially proud” of Garth Brooks, who won the night’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year. “I just love him so much,” she says.
The “Coal Miner’s Daughter” singer also had a blast seeing women dominate much of the evening. Carrie Underwood hosted the 53rd annual ceremony with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, and female artists beat out their male counterparts in several top categories — namely Maren Morris’ Album of the Year win.
“I thought all the girls rocked the stage last night in their salute to women in country music,” Lynn tells Us. “I saw so many friends and was practically up all night! I had a blast.”
Underwood, 36, Parton, 73, and McEntire, 64, announced at the top of the show that Lynn was in the house. The cameras then panned to the Grand Ole Opry member grinning while sitting in the front row.
Lynn has a storied history with the CMA Awards. She won Female Vocalist of the Year at the first-ever show in 1967. Five years later, she became the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year.
The Kentucky native has remained busy on the music scene in recent years, although she suffered a few health setbacks along the way. In May 2017, she suffered a stroke at her Tennessee home and was taken to the hospital, forcing her to cancel her tour and delay the release of her album Wouldn’t It Be Great. She had another health scare that December when she fell and broke her hip.
After a death hoax circulated online earlier this year, Lynn took to Facebook to set the record straight: “I’m not dead and neither is Willie [Nelson]! Both of us are coming back to life, and we’re gonna raise hell.”
With reporting by Brody Brown