Shocking news was released this morning as the world learned that country music trailblazer Loretta Lynn passed away at her Tennessee ranch Tuesday morning.
A representative for the family says that Lynn died from natural causes. She was surrounded by family when she died.
Rising from poverty and a town with no cars or electricity, Lynn grew to be one of the most recognizable faces in country music. She was the first woman to win Country Music Awards' (CMA) Enterainer of the Year, and won CMA's Female Vocalist of the Year in 1967, 1972 and 1973. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, and was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. She joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1962, just two years atfer recording her first single. She has sold over 45 million albums worldwide and earned 24 number 1 singles.
President Barack Obama awarded Ms. Lynn the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
In 2013, when Ms. Lynn received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, President Barack Obama said that she was the “rule-breaking, record-setting queen of country music” who “gave voice to a generation, singing what no one wanted to talk about and saying what no one wanted to think about.”
Loretta Lynn was pre-deceased by her husband of almost 50 years, Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn, her daughter Betty Sue Lynn, son Jack Benny Lynn, and her grandson Jeff Lynn. She is survived by her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn and her son Ernest Ray Lynn as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Loretta married Oliver in 1948, when she was 15 and he was 21. The couple had 6 children, 25 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Information about a memorial service/celebration of life will be made available at a later date. For more information, visit LorettaLynn.com.