Growing up, my older sister and I listened to a lot of classic country music—Alan Jackson, George Straight, Patsy Cline—but there was one classic female singer we listened to more than anyone: Loretta Lynn. We would often ride down the road singing “I was born a coal miner’s daughter,” changing the words “coal miner’s daughter” to “carpenter’s daughter” since our daddy was a carpenter. Lynn grew up a simple Southern girl, much like us. We could listen to her music and know that we weren’t the only girls brave enough to shoot and skin a deer for supper. We could relate to her. Aside from that, we loved her beautiful voice and the hard work she put into her career. Loretta Lynn made history by being the first woman in the country music industry to have a certified gold album. She also recorded 26 number-one hits. Because of these things and several others, Loretta Lynn has become the “Queen of Country Music.” Through her career, she never once gave up. She worked hard and has not only set an amazing example for both female and male country artists, but has paved the way for artists of all types. In her music, she wrote and sang about real life while adding in humor here and there, making her relatable to all of her listeners. Lynn used her incredible voice to accomplish so much throughout her career and she is still progressing today.
Loretta Lynn became the legend she is today through her hard work, and over the years she has gained many fans. Lynn started her career as a young mother of four children and struggled to take care of her family while also nurturing her musical ambitions. She became a member of the Grand Old Opry in 1962, just two years after she started her career in the music industry. Her dedication paid off in 1963 when her first album, Loretta Lynn Sings, became certified gold. Later, in 1980, Lynn’s career began to fade a little as country music changed, but her old albums remained popular. In 1988, she became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. By this time, Lynn was already considered a legend. In 1990, she cut down on her work some more, but in 1993 she went on to create an album with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette called Honky Tonk Angels. In 1995, Lynn became a star in her short television series, Loretta Lynn & Friends. In her late 60s, Lynn still wasn’t ready to give up her career. In 2000, she released her album called Still Country. In 2002, she released Still Woman Enough. Even after that she went on to release the album Van Lear Rose in 2004.
Along with her hard work in the music industry, fans loved Lynn because she wrote and sang songs about real life and real people. Ken Burke and Geri Koeppel affirm: “Many of the feisty performer’s works appeal to a female fan base because of their gritty but often upbeat tales of betrayal, hard times, raising kids, and other real-life topics. With a hardscrabble upbringing, a devoted yet troubled marriage, chronic illness and exhaustion due to her hectic pace, and several tragedies through the years, Lynn’s own life often provided the grist for her popular tunes.” Her fans loved that they were able to identity with her and her music. Soon after her first album, she recorded “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin,’” a song she wrote about her alcoholic husband. In 1967, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’” became her first number-one hit. The same year, the Country Music Association granted Lynn with her first Female Vocalist of the Year award when she topped the charts with her song, “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” which “was actually a song written about a distraught fan she met one night backstage.” Lynn’s music career reached its peak when her song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”—written about her life growing up in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky—became number one on the country music charts in 1970. Soon after, she published her book, also called Coal Miner’s Daughter, which went on to become a number-one seller. Much like her song “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the book was about her personal life. In 1980, her book was adapted into a movie starring Sissy Spacek as Lynn.
Loretta Lynn’s amazing voice is probably the reason fans love her the most. When Loretta entered into a televised talent show in 1960, Norman Burley heard Loretta’s voice for the first time. He thought she sang so beautifully that he established Zero Records just to record her. Shortly after that, she was recorded by Owen Bradley, a legendary producer who was also in awe of her majestic voice. In 1971, her vocal styling aided in the winning of her her first Grammy Award when she and Conway Twitty performed a duet of “After the Fire is Gone.” The two had created such gorgeous melodies that the Country Music Association granted them Vocal Duo of the Year four years in a row. In 2003, she became friends with rockstar Jack White, who produced her album Van Lear Rose. This album boosted Lynn’s career once again. Soon after Jack White explained to Entertainment Weekly, “I want as many people as possible on earth to hear her, because she’s the greatest female singer-songwriter of the last century.” White’s and Lynn’s voices were so stunning together that the two went on to win two Grammy Awards together, one for best country collaboration with vocals on their song “Portland Oregon” and the other for best country album.
Indeed, she was the greatest singer-songwriter of her century, and she is still going strong. While she doesn’t do as much with her career now, she still does everything she can. She is truly a legendary woman and has accomplished much in her career as a musician. She has been a role model for her fans. Through both her music and her life she was and is truly an inspirational woman with an incredible talent.
Kelsey Campbell is a student at the University of North Georgia with plans to become a nursing major. In her spare time (when she has any), Kelsey loves to paint and create other types of art such as clay sculptures. She has a newfound love for writing (which is good, because as a student, she definitely does a lot of it). Kelsey believes that art and writing go hand in hand. Call her crazy, but above all, Kelsey loves to raise and train chickens. It’s kind of her thing. She also simply enjoys making others smile. It’s really important to her. A simple, kind gesture could change someone else’s life.
 Koepple, Geri and Ken Burke. “Lynn, Loretta.” Contemporary Musicians. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2015.
 “Loretta Lynn.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 22 Jul. 2015.