Loretta first arrived in Nashville 55 years ago, signing her first recording contract on February 1, 1960, and within a matter of weeks, she was at her first recording session.
A self-taught guitarist and songwriter, Lynn became one of the most distinctive performers in Nashville in the 1960s and 1970s, shaking things up by writing her own songs, many of which tackled boundary-pushing topics drawn from her own life experiences as a wife and mother.
Loretta Lynn’s instantly recognizable delivery is one of the greatest voices in music history. In lyrics such as “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’” and “Your Squaw Is on the War Path” she refused to be any man’s doormat. She challenged female rivals in “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “Fist City.” She showed tremendous blue-collar pride in “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “You’re Lookin’ at Country.” She is unafraid of controversy, whether the topic is sex (“Wings Upon Your Horns”), divorce (“Rated X”), alcohol (“Wouldn’t It Be Great”) or war (“Dear Uncle Sam”). “The Pill,” her celebration of sexual liberation, was banned by many radio stations. Like the lady herself, Loretta Lynn’s songs shoot from the hip.
Lynn is also one of the most awarded musicians of all time. She has been inducted into more music Halls of Fame than any female recording artist, including The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was the first woman to be named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year in 1972. Lynn received Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. She has won four Grammy Awards (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010) and sold more than 45 million records worldwide.
Loretta Lynn’s life is still a work in progress. She’s still out there on the road, still writing songs and still recording them as only she can. “I ain’t a star – a star is something up in the night sky,” says Loretta Lynn. “People say to me, ‘You’re a legend.’ I’m not a legend. I’m just a woman.”