Known as the “First Lady of Country Music,” Loretta Lynn has entertained audiences for decades thanks to her songs inspired by life as a coal miner’s daughter, and experiences as a wife and mother by the age of 15. Throughout her 50-plus year career, Lynn has released 60 albums, selling 45 million records worldwide. Ten albums have reached No. 1 with 16 No. 1 singles on the country charts. Her many awards and accolades include four Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, eight Country Music Association awards, among many more. To date, she remains the most-awarded woman in all of country music.
With many songs focused on women’s issues and feminism, she often took on philandering husbands, mistresses, and a variety of controversial issues in her lyrics that forced many radio stations to ban her music. Nine of her songs were banned from some country stations, but her relatable stories and lyrics hit home with many fans. Her New York Times bestselling 1976 autobiography, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones.
After marrying Oliver Vanetta Lynn, Jr., at the age of 15, the couple moved to Custer, Wash., to start their family and escape the coal mining industry of her hometown of Butcher Hollow, KY. By the age of 20, she had four children, with two more to come. Lynn was a grandmother before she hit the ripe old age of 30.
Although the Lynns were married for more than 50 years, up until her husband’s death in 1996 it was a rocky relationship chronicled in songs throughout her career.
Throughout the course of her career, she has worked with some of country music’s biggest stars, from Conway Twitty and Tammy Wynette to Dolly Parton. But her appeal extended beyond the boundaries of country music alone. Her 2004 album, “Van Lear Rose,” was produced by rocker Jack White of the White Stripes, who also performed as a musician and vocalist on certain tracks. “Rolling Stone” named the collaboration the second-best album of the year in 2004. She is reportedly working on a follow-up to “Van Lear Rose” as well as a new CD of re-recorded versions of some of her biggest hits from throughout the decades.
Loretta Lynn plays the Emerald Queen Casino’s I-5 Showroom on Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $30-$65, available at http://ticketmaster.com.
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