Country music legend Loretta Lynn, the coal miner’s daughter whose career spanned six decades and included hits like “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” and “Fist City,” died Tuesday at her home in Tennessee, family members confirmed. She was 90.
In a statement released Tuesday, family members said Lynn “passed away peacefully this morning ... in her sleep at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Hills.” They asked for privacy and said information about a memorial would be shared at a later time.
A representative for Lynn told TMZ that she was surrounded by family at the time of her death and that she died of natural causes.
Born the second of eight children in her family in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, on April 14, 1935, Lynn drew inspiration from her childhood for her 1970 single, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” The song was her first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned her a place among the most recognized country artists of all-time.
“I was singing when I was born, I think,” she told The Associated Press in 2016. “Daddy used to come out on the porch where I would be singing and rocking the babies to sleep. He’d say, ‘Loretta, shut that big mouth. People all over this holler can hear you.’ And I said, ‘Daddy, what difference does it make? They are all my cousins.’”
In 1967, after releasing a string of country hits including “Blue Kentucky Girl” and “Wine, Women and Song,” Lynn was named best female vocalist at the first Country Music Association Awards, The Tennessean reported. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and, over the course of her career, earned 18 Grammy Award nominations. She won three Grammys, including one for best country album for 2004′s “Van Lear Rose.”
Jack White, the rock musician and The White Stripes singer who produced “Van Lear Rose,” told The Tennessean that Lynn’s music served to “(burn) down the walls between men and women.”
“She is the single most important female singer-songwriter of the 20th century,” he told the newspaper.
In a 2003 interview with The Washington Post, Robert Oermann, co-author of “Finding Her Voice,” a study of women in country music, credited Lynn with changing the male dominated music industry.
“She was the groundbreaking female singer-songwriter in country music,” he said. “Her songs were delivered from a distinctly female point of view, and that had not been done before, not the way she did it. Writing about women as they really lived — that was a breakthrough.”
Lynn is survived by her younger sister, Crystal Gayle; her daughters, Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn and Clara “Cissie” Marie Lynn; her son, Ernest; 17 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, according to The New York Times.
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