How Did Loretta Lynn Die: Legacy of a Coal Miner’s Daughter

how did loretta lynn die
Image from Shutterstock.

Loretta Lynn held the title of Queen of Country Music for a staggering 60 years, equipped with just a guitar and the truth. Sometimes the truth was so honest that it got her in trouble with the patriarchal society that ran the industry, but it won over the hearts of millions of fans.

When the announcement of her death came, it was a shock to all the fans that loved her, but the tribute that soon followed proved just how much the world loved her.

How did Loretta Lynn Die? Find out that and more about one of the most beloved female country music icons the world has ever known.  

What was Loretta Lynn’s Cause of Death?

Loretta Lynn’s death happened due to natural causes.

In her last years of life, Loretta Lynn did experience some health struggles, including being hospitalized for a stroke in May 2017. Over the years, she also struggled with bouts of pneumonia and a broken arm after falling at her ranch.

When Did Loretta Lynn Die?

Loretta Lynn died in her sleep on Oct. 4, 2022.

loretta lynn
Image from Shutterstock

How Old Was Loretta Lynn When She Died?

Loretta Lynn was 90 years old when she died.

Where is Loretta Lynn Buried?

Loretta Lynn was buried three days after her death on the property of her Hurricane Mills ranch, better known to fans as Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. It is located in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, which is about 60 miles southeast of Nashville. She was laid to rest next to her husband, Oliver.

What Were Loretta Lynn’s Last Words?

It may not be known what Loretta Lynn’s actual last words were, but we do know her last message to her beloved fans. Just two days before her death, Loretta Lynn made her final post on Facebook to her fans.

Showing off her deep faith, she quoted directly from John 3:20-21. “Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Just a few weeks later, on Oct. 30, during Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn, live from the Grand Ole Opry, a final recording to her fans was played.

“To my friends, thank you for giving me such a great life. I have never taken it or you for granted. Because of you, my kids didn’t have to grow up poor the way I did,” Lynn said in the message, which was accompanied by photos and videos of the “Fist City” singer over the years.

Related: The Best 18 Female Country Singers of All Time: Who Made the List?

Loretta Lynn’s Funeral

Loretta Lynn’s funeral was a private affair with very few guests, which took place at her Hurricane Mills estate on Oct. 7. Her burial immediately followed.

Fans, better known as “friends” to Lynn, were able to mourn the passing of the beloved star during the public celebration of life at the Grand Ole Opry.

Several major artists appeared, sharing stories about what Lynn meant to them, and paid tribute to her, singing some of her most famous hits.

Hosted by Jenna Bush Hager, some key appearances included Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, and more.

Related: Alan Jackson Biography: His Struggles with Illness and More

Who was Loretta Lynn?

Loretta Lynn was the matriarch of country music, blazing the trail for all the women of country that came after her. She brought a new meaning to country songs that tell it like it is.

When was Loretta Lynn Born?

Loretta Lynn’s birthday is Apr. 14, 1932.

Her Zodiac sign is Aries. As one of the six positive signs of the 12, it symbolizes energy, health, a fighting spirit, leadership skills, and more.

It’s the perfect description of Loretta Lynn as she lived a long, happy life, blazing the way for female country singers everywhere as she fought for their voices to be heard.

Where is Loretta Lynn From?

Loretta Lynn grew up in a poor family in Butcher Holler, Kentucky. She sings of her childhood experiences in her biographical hit song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter. 

Loretta Lynn’s Ethnicity

Although Loretta Lynn was American, her lineage includes Cherokee.

loretta lynn
Image from shutterstock.

How Tall is Loretta Lynn?

She was a small woman with a big, bold personality. Loretta Lynn’s height was about 5 feet, 2 inches.

How Much Did Loretta Lynn Weigh?

The “You Ain’t Woman Enough” singer was petite. Loretta Lynn’s weight was about 130 pounds.

Where Did Loretta Lynn Live?

Loretta Lynn called Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, in Humphreys County, home for years. Better known as Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, it has been called “the seventh largest attraction in Tennessee.”

The property includes museums, lodging, a recording studio, restaurants, and Western stores.

Thousands gather for the three traditional holiday concerts, too. They include Memorial Day Weekend in May, Fourth of July, and Labor Day Weekend in September. 

The property has also hosted Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship motocross race, the largest of any other, since 1982.

Related: The Top 15 Black Country Singers Spanning 100 Years

How Did Loretta Lynn Become Famous?

Loretta Lynn is a true rags-to-riches story.

After moving to Custer, Washington, with her husband not long after the two were wed, the two immediately started raising a family, making it seem like she was bound to be a housewife just like her mother.

As Lynn navigated the first few years of marriage, she spent her free time teaching herself to play guitar on the $17 Harmony guitar that her husband bought her.

Once she honed her skills for a few years, she started Loretta Lynn and the Trailblazers, which included her brother, Jay Lee, playing the lead guitar.

After appearing at a few venues around town in the 1950s, she entered a talent contest in Tacoma, Washington, hosted by Buck Owens, which she won. As it turned out, a wristwatch wasn’t the only prize coming her way.

Loretta Lynn’s Career

Winning the local talent contest in Washington got Loretta Lynn noticed by Norm Burley, co-founder of Zero Records, and soon arranged for Lynn to record her first album, I’m a Honky Tonk Girl after she signed her contract with the label on Feb. 2, 1960.

It didn’t take long for the title track, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” to start climbing on the Billboard Country and Western chart, and by the end of the year, Lynn was considered the fourth most promising country female artist by Billboard magazine.

Her fame soared after she signed with Decca Records.

Soon Lynn’s face was everywhere as she made numerous performances at several venues, including the Grand Ole Opry, which she officially became a member of on Sept. 25, 1962.

As her success continued to grow, she released a string of hits. Some of the most remembered Loretta Lynn songs include “Blue Kentucky Girl,” “Fist City,” and “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind).”

During her early years, she had some famous faces as her best friends in mentors, including “Crazy” singer Patsy Cline and “Stand by Your Man” singer Tammy Wynette, although they were at separate times.

Of this, Lynn once said: “Best friends are like husbands. You only need one at a time.”

Her singles culminated in a staggering 50 Loretta Lynn albums, many of which have been certified gold and platinum. She also has numerous live albums, compilation albums, and box sets that fans can still enjoy.

Her solo career, however, isn’t the only one that made significant strides in the world of country music for the “You’re Lookin’ at Country” singer.

Related: 12 Essential Patsy Cline Facts You’ll be “Crazy” About

Loretta and Conway

One of the most famous duos in country music history is that of Loretta Lynn and “Hello Darlin’” singer Conway Twitty.

Throughout their multi-year partnership, the two became even more popular than George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, as they released numerous hits, including “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” “Lead Me On,” and the Grammy awarding-winning, “After the Fire is Gone.”

The two’s career as a duo is so well remembered that, even today, their grandchildren – Tayla Lynn and Tre Twitty – keep their grandparents’ legacy alive as they regularly tour with their show “Twitty & Lynn: A Salute to Loretta and Conway.”  

Related: 16 Old Country Songs: The Best from the 50s, 60s, and 70s

Loretta Lynn’s Net Worth

At the time of her passing, Loretta Lynn was worth an estimated net worth of $65 million thanks to her chart-topping hits and Loretta Lynn tours and concerts.

Her success and riches can also be traced to the No. 1 biographical film Coal Miner’s Daughter, released in March 1980, and her numerous New York Times best-selling autobiographies, including Coal Miner’s Daughter (1976), and Still Woman Enough (2002).

She later wrote a book called Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline (2020), which told the story of her relationship with the late “Sweet Dreams” singer.

Loretta Lynn’s Children

Loretta Lynn was the mother of six children, and they started early.

How old was Loretta Lynn when she had her first baby? She was 16 when her eldest daughter, Betty Sue, was born on Nov. 26, 1948.

Betty Sue was not the only one born while Loretta was still a teenager.

Her next child, Jack Benny, was born 13 months later on Dec. 7, 1949. Ernest Ray Lynn followed less than two years later, on May 27, 1951. Finally, Clara Marie “Cissie” Lynn was born on Apr. 7, 1952.

Loretta raised her family for the next 12 years before adding twin daughters, Peggy Jean and Patsy Eileen, to the family on Aug. 6, 1964.

No wonder she came out with a song like “The Pill,” no matter how controversial it was at the time.

Related: The 50 Best Country Songs From Jimmie Rodgers to Morgan Wallen

What Happened to Loretta Lynn’s Daughter Betty Sue?

Unfortunately, not all of Loretta Lynn’s kids are still alive.

Loretta Lynn’s son, Jack Benny Lynn, tragically passed away on Jul. 24, 1984. He was found dead not long after he was declared missing after going horse riding on the Hurricane Mills ranch.

Loretta Lynn’s daughter, Betty Sue Lynn, passed away on Jul. 29, 2013, following complications from emphysema.

Who are Loretta Lynn’s Grandchildren?

When she wasn’t delighting fans with her music, Loretta Lynn was a loving grandmother to 25, great-grandmother to more than 24, and great-great-grandmother of three.

A few of her grandchildren have followed in her footsteps, including Tayla Lynn, daughter of Ernest Ray; Lynn Markworth and Audrey Dryer, daughters of Betty Sue; and Emmy Russell, daughter of Patsy Eileen.

loretta lynn and sissy spacek
Image from Shutterstock.

Who was Loretta Lynn Married To?

Loretta Lynn’s husband of nearly 50 years was talent manager Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn.

The two married on Jan. 10, 1948, when Loretta was only 15. Doolittle later died in 1996 at the age of 69.

Lynn revealed in her autobiography, Still Woman Enough, that their marriage was “one of the hardest love stories,” noting how there were several instances of infidelity on Doolittle’s part throughout their marriage, but she stuck with it. 

“I married Doo when I wasn’t, but a child, and he was my life from that day on. But as important as my youth and upbringing was, there’s something else that made me stick to Doo.

He thought I was something special, more special than anyone else in the world, and never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door…Doo was a good man and a hard worker. But he was an alcoholic, and it affected our marriage all the way through.” 

Related: The 15 Best Male Country Singers of All Time: A Definitive List

Loretta Lynn’s Parents

Loretta Lynn was one of eight children born to coal miner Melvin Theodore “Ted” Webb and housewife Clara Marie “Clary.”

Her father passed away at the age of 52 after suffering a stroke.

Who Are Loretta Lynn’s Two Sisters?

Of her eight siblings, Loretta Lynn had four brothers (Melvin, Herman, Willie, and Donald) and three sisters (Peggy Sue, Betty Ruth, and Brenda Gail, later known as Crystal Gayle).

Loretta Lynn’s Awards

The most decorated female country artist of all time, Loretta Lynn’s list of awards is extensive and seriously well-earned.

One of her most prominent awards came in 1972 when she became the first female in the history of country music to win the Entertainer of the Year honor at the Country Music Association Awards.

In 1980, she was also the only woman among winners of the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade honor for the 1970s.

Along with many other accolades and honors over the years, Lynn is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, is a Kennedy Center Honors Recipient, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and more.

Loretta Lynn’s Legacy

Even though Loretta Lynn is gone from this world, there is no doubt that her storied six-decade career will continue to live on as it inspires young women everywhere who want to sing the truth of country music no matter the cost. She will forever be remembered as the trailblazer.

You May Also Like: 

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





ray charles' net worth

Ray Charles’ Net Worth: From the Street of Orlando to Millionaire

how did loretta lynn die

Ondara Gets Welcomed Home with a Sold-Out Show