Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Jack White, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Margo Price and many other stars have shared heartfelt tributes to country music pioneer Loretta Lynn, who died Tuesday at age 90. Lynn’s family confirmed the late Country Music Hall of Famer died in her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
“Mama and Loretta were four years apart, mama being the oldest. They always reminded me a lot of each other. Strong women, who loved their children and were fiercely loyal,” McEntire wrote in a statement to Variety. “Now they’re both in heaven getting to visit and talk about how they were raised, how different country music is now from what it was when they were young. Sure makes me feel good that mama went first so she could welcome Loretta into the hollers of heaven. I always did and I always will love Loretta. She was always so nice to me. I sure appreciate her paving the rough and rocky road for all us girl singers.” McEntire participated in Lynn’s final album, 2021’s “Still Woman Enough,” singing on the title track along with Carrie Underwood.
Jack White, who produced her “Van Lear Rose” comeback album in 2004, posted a two-minute testimonial on Instagram. “What a sad day today is,” White said. “I said years ago I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. I still believe that. … Loretta used to say, to make it in the evilness, you had to either be great, different or first. And she thought that she was just different and that’s how she made it, but I think she was all three of those things… What she did for feminism, women’s rights, at a time period and in a genre of music that was the hardest to do it in, is just outstanding and will live on for a long time.” Talking about the making of the album they worked on together, White said, “There was times where I had to just sort of take a pause and step outside because she was so brilliant, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and hearing… She was like a mother figure to me, and also a very good friend, at times, and told me some amazing things that I’ll never tell anybody.”
Underwood weighed in with her respects as well, writing on social media, “The first time I met Loretta Lynn was at the Grand Ole Opry at the beginning of my career. I was chatting in the corner with another artist and someone walked behind me and smacked me on the rear end! I turned around and there she was… in a big sparkly dress… laughing as she continued to walk down the hall at what she had just done… This is one of my most favorite stories to tell. I think it sums up her personality pretty well,” she said. Underwood further called Lynn “a cantankerous little pistol… friendly and sweet… never afraid to be herself and speak her mind. Over the years, I have had the honor of singing for her… and also with her… in some of the most special moments of my career. She is irreplaceable… but her legacy lives on in those of us whom she has influenced… Thank you, Loretta, for showing us how it’s done. May you Rest In Peace in the arms of Jesus and add your heavenly voice to the angel choir.” Underwood signed off with the two-word salutation that Lynn always included in her autographs: “Love you!”
Sheryl Crow, who performed alongside Lynn at the Country Music Awards in 2010 after recording a new version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” with Lynn and Miranda Lambert that same year, also shared her sentiments in a statement. “The news of Loretta Lynn’s passing just came across my news feed and time stopped,” she wrote. “There will never be another like her. May she forever sing with the angels!”
Alt-country singer Margo Price, who took part in a duet on Lynn’s final album as well, wrote on Twitter, “It’s safe to say I wouldn’t even be making country music today if it weren’t for Loretta Lynn. She showed me up what it looked like to be a musician and a mama. Her writing was as real as the day is long. This one hurts on another level. I’ll miss her forever.”
The rock band Paramore was one of the artists taking part in a 2010 tribute album honoring Lynn, contributing a version of one of her most famously feisty songs. Singer Hayley Williams told Variety Tuesday: “Loretta called me the night before we headlined the Ryman for the first time. She’d heard our cover of ‘You Ain’t Woman Enough’ and really loved it, so she wanted to wish us well. I will never forget the way she said my name and how easy the conversation felt. What a woman.”
John Carter Cash, who produced her final albums, said in a statement to Variety: “Loretta was true. She was of a time in American music when songs meant something different than now. She was able to take a straightforward vision and perception of life and put it into words. There was nothing puffed up or fake about Loretta. She was built of powerful stuff — essentially, she was made of love. Anyone that knew her saw that she loved them unconditionally, naturally and kindly.
“When my mother [June Carter Cash] died,” he continued, “Loretta was there for me, her laughter made being around her easy, and she filled a gap that I believed I had healed. She came into my life, and I learned how to enjoy creativity in a way I couldn’t have before conceived. She helped me believe in good music — and in the good of music. She may be exalted in months to come as ‘the Best Female Country Song Writer in History,’ ‘the Queen of Country Music’ or ‘the Last of Her Kind,’ and she was all these things. But she was something far simpler: She was love, personified. She helped me believe in family and showed me that no matter who I was, or where I came from, we are all the same,” Cash said. “In truth, she reminded me of this, as these were essential life truths my mother and father taught me years prior. I will miss her, but I will carry her in my heart until the day I die. If I can but relate an iota of what truth she taught me, I know it will grow like a seed of faith. I believe it will be enough. I love you, Loretta Lynn, and though the world may sing of you, try to sing like you and be like you for ages to come, no one will ever get close.”
Martina McBride offered a tribute early Tuesday morning, saying “there will never be another like her. I am so grateful that I got to know her, to spend time with her, laugh with her.”
In a statement shared on her social media, Dolly Parton reminisced about her and Lynn’s time in Nashville, writing, “She was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I’m one of them.”
The Oak Ridge Boys also offered a tribute via Twitter, sharing a photo of the singer and adding, “Great Britain lost their Queen … now we have lost ours … Rest easy ma’am. You were loved all …”
Carly Pearce, who in 2021 released a tribute song dedicated to the late singer titled, “Dear Miss Loretta,” wrote: “She showed us all how to unapologetically tell the truth. One of the greatest there ever will be. I’ll be singing ‘Dear Miss Loretta’ with a little extra love tonight at the Opry.”