It’s time to recognize one of country music’s biggest legends… Loretta Lynn is celebrating her 90th birthday on Thursday (April 14). The Butcher Holler, Kentucky-born singer was born on April 14, 1932, and has been trailblazing ever since. Lynn taught herself how to sing and play the guitar, and landed her first recording contract on February 1, 1960, according to her bio. Over the decades, she wrote her own songs and pushed boundaries with them, including with inspiration from her own experiences — even when she had songs banned.
“To make it in this business, you either have to be first, great or different,” Lynn said in a statement. “And I was the first to ever go into Nashville, singin’ it like the women lived it. …Before I was singing, I cleaned house; I took in laundry; I picked berries. I worked seven days a week. I was a housewife and mother for 15 years before I was an entertainer. And it wasn’t like being a housewife today. It was doing hand laundry on a board and cooking on an old coal stove. I grew a garden and canned what I grew. That’s what’s real. I know how to survive.
“After he [Lynn’s husband] got me the guitar, I went out and bought a Country Song Roundup. I looked at the songs in there and thought, ‘Well, this ain’t nothing. Anybody can do this.’ I just wrote about things that happened. I was writing about things that nobody talked about in public, and I didn’t realize that they didn’t. I was having babies and staying at home. I was writing about life. That’s why I had songs banned.”
Lynn recorded her debut single “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” and went on to score many other achievements throughout her iconic career. She made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry on October 15, 1960, and officially became a member on September 25, 1962. Lynn has also collected three GRAMMY Awards, eight Country Music Association Awards and other accolades, reads a press release announcing plans to celebrate Lynn at the Opry on her birthday. The celebration will include performances, including by Lynn’s sister and the Opry debut of Twitty and Lynn, the grandchildren of Lynn and Conway Twitty (Tre Twitty and Tayla Lynn).
Lynn’s team shared a video on her social media channels on Thursday morning from some of her friends and artists, including Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Garth Brooks and Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Carly Pearce, Maren Morris, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton and many more. Watch it here:
Lynn has recorded tons of music over the decades. Here are a few of her biggest songs: