Loretta Lynn

Country Singer / Songwriter

Born: 14 April 1932
Birthplace: Butcher Hollow, Kentucky
Best known as: Country legend and "Coal Miner's Daughter"

Loretta Lynn is a country music legend whose life story, as told in her 1976 autobiography Coal Miner's Daughter, is almost as well-known as her music. Born and raised in the poor coal mining mountains of Kentucky, she was married by the time she was 14 years old to Oliver V. "Mooney" Lynn (also known as "Doo"). After having six children she began singing professionally in the late 1950s. In 1960 she had her first hit, "Honky Tonk Girl," and by the 1970s she was the richest woman in country music, famous for her working-class appeal and the defiance shown in such songs as "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)," "Before I'm Over You" and "Coal Miner's Daughter." Lynn also found great success singing duets with Ernest Tubb ("Mr. and Mrs. Used To Be") and Conway Twitty ("Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"), and in business ventures that included a chain of western wear clothing shops, a music publishing company and a travelling rodeo show. Her autobiography was a bestseller and was made into the movie that won Sissy Spacek an Oscar for best actress (Tommy Lee Jones portrayed "Doo" in the movie). Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, Lynn took time off from her career in the 1990s to care for her ailing husband, who died in 1996. In 2004 she released a critically acclaimed album, Van Lear Rose, produced by rocker Jack White of The White Stripes. It won a Grammy for best country album and produced the Grammy-winning single "Portland, Oregon."

Extra credit:

Early in her career Lynn was befriended by country star Patsy Cline… Lynn’s 1971 song “One’s On the Way” was penned by poet Shel Silverstein… Her 1975 song, “The Pill,” about a woman’s personal freedom as a result of birth control pills, was banned by several radio stations in the U.S.

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