Loretta Lynn

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About Loretta Lynn

Kentucky legend Loretta Lynn may not have been the first female country star to elbow her way into Nashville's boys' club in the early '60s, but she was the first to make the female experience—and all the social pressures and double standards that come with it—central to her songbook. Lynn's bold and soulful voice was matched by her eagerness to smuggle countercultural notions about birth control ("The Pill") and divorce ("Rated X") into the Grand Ole Opry, establishing the archetype for the taboo-breaching Music City provocateur that endures through the likes of the Chicks, Kacey Musgraves, and Miranda Lambert. And those eyebrow-raising lyrics were delivered with outsized swagger: On the 1968 woman-scorned screed "Fist City," Lynn exuded an attitude that rivaled the sneering garage rockers of the day. So it was no surprise that, long after the 1980 biopic Coal Miner's Daughter made her a star beyond the heartland, Lynn was embraced by a younger generation as a protopunk icon, with her most effusive fan—Jack White—ushering in her 21st-century renaissance on 2004's Van Lear Rose.

Butcher Hollow, KY, United States
April 14, 1932
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