Loretta Lynn, coal miner’s daughter turned forthright country queen, dies at 90

Loretta Lynn's gutsy lyrics and twangy, down-home vocals made her a queen of country music for seven decades, has died. She was 90.

Lynn, who had no formal music training but spent hours every day singing her babies to sleep, was known to churn out fully textured songs in a matter of minutes. She just wrote what she knew.

She lived in poverty for much of her early life, began having kids by age 17 and spent years married to a man prone to drinking which became material for her plainspoken songs.

She grew up dirt-poor in the Kentucky hill. She was born Loretta Webb in 1932 and sang in church and at home, even as her father protested that everyone in Butcher Hollow could hear.

It wasn’t until 1960 that she’d record what would become her debut single, “Honky Tonk Girl.” She then took the song on the road, playing country music stations across the United States.

Lynn’s struggle and success became the stuff of legend, an oft-repeated story of youth, naivete and poverty.In early 2021, at the age of 89, she recorded her 50th album, “Still Woman Enough.”.

She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and in 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"Lynn gave voice to a generation, singing what no one wanted to talk about and saying what no one wanted to think about.”

 President Barack Obama