Today, let’s check out some of Loretta Lynn facts to celebrate the award-winning country singer for her groundbreaking role in the genre and as the undisputed Queen of Country.
Lynn has shared so much with her fans within her career of nearly fifty years – bringing us countless hit songs we could no longer keep track of and introducing us to songs showcasing a feminist viewpoint.
But did you know her road to fame did not come easy? Hailing as the Coal Miner’s Daughter, Lynn got a true rags-to-riches story. Here are few of the most fascinating facts about our favorite country legend.
1. She’s the second of eight children.
Loretta Lynn – whose real name is Loretta Webb – was born on April 14, 1932, in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. She is the second child and eldest daughter among the eight children to a father working as a coal miner.
Her family lived in severe poverty, in a tiny cabin in the mountains of Kentucky. During the winter months, her mother would glue old newspapers and pages from Sears Roebuck catalogs to the wall to keep their family warm – because her parents couldn’t afford a wallpaper.
2. She was named after an actress.
Her mother named her after the Oscar-winning actress Loretta Young who was known for her ethereal beauty and refined portrayals of virtuous women in the 1940s films such as Farmer’s Daughter and Come to the Stable.
Lynn revealed that her mother is a big fan of the actress.
3. She has married young and fast.
Lynn was only 15 when she married Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn – who was six years older than her. The two met in December 1947 and got hitched a month later, on January 10, 1948.
The couple had six children together, with their youngest being twins. They welcomed their first child a year after they got married and had three more by the time Lynn turned twenty. They have remained married for nearly five decades until Doo’s death at age 69 in 1996 – despite the frequent cheating and turbulent relationship. Lynn even described her marriage as “one of the hardest love stories.”
4. Her career started with a budget-friendly guitar.
For her 18th birthday, Doo gave Lynn her first guitar – a $17 Gibson guitar he purchased from Sears & Roebuck. Lynn then taught herself to play the stringed musical instrument and worked on improving her guitar skills for the next three years.
Later on, Lynn started writing songs and launched her own band, Loretta and the Trailblazers, playing around the taverns in Washington. Lynn later recorded “(I’m A) Honky Tonk Girl” and mailed out copies of it to every country music station they knew, urging them to play it.
And then the incredible thing happened. Lynn’s song caught on like wildfire, that it was heavily played, not only by radio stations but as well as on jukeboxes in all places. After a few months, Lynn finally made her first public stage appearance, which led to her debut on the prestigious Grand Ole Opry.
And from that, Loretta Lynn went on becoming the most awarded female country singer, an undeniable queen of country music, and is reportedly enjoying a net worth of $65 million.
5. She has a statue installed at Ryman Auditorium.
To memorialize Lynn’s lengthy and lucrative career, a bronze statue of the country music icon was put up outside the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It will be accompanying the statues of Country Music Hall of Famers Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Monroe.
Lynn considers her membership to the country-music institution to be one of the greatest honors of her life, saying, “there’s no place like it.”
6. She’s not very happy with today’s country music.
Earlier last year, Lynn expressed how she finds some of today’s country music upsetting. Talking to Martina McBride’s Vocal Point podcast, the country superstar confessed that she’s no longer very optimistic regarding the genre’s future – thinking today’s country artists are “completely losing it.”
7. She’s married to Kid Rock – or so it seems.
Country fans were left open-mouthed when Lynn shared a series of photos of her wearing a wedding veil while Kid Rock was holding her hand and was down on one knee. Lynn wrote in the caption that they both got hitched.
But Lynn was quick to clear the air, taking to social media that the union was just all for laughs and that “it didn’t last long.” It happened during Lynn’s son Ernest and his wife Crystal’s vow renewal ceremony, which Kid Rock officiated. The faux wedding was set up as a fun surprise for the two superstars.
So, did you enjoy these Loretta Lynn facts? It’s fascinating how this country superstar has paved the way for women in the music industry. We can really tell that this Coal Miner’s Daughter will go down in history as a legend.