Loretta Lynn, country music star and songwriting pioneer, dies at 90

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This article was published by AFP:

Loretta Lynn, the revolutionary American titan whose frank lyricism delving into women’s experiences with sex, infidelity and pregnancy touched the nerve of a nation, has died. She was 90 years old.

A family statement released to US media on Tuesday said the beloved songwriter died of natural causes.

Lynn has seen a number of her edgy tracks banned by country music stations, but in more than six decades in the business, she’s become a standard-bearer for the genre and its most decorated female artist of all time. .

Born Loretta Webb on April 14, 1932, in small-town Kentucky, Lynn was the eldest daughter of a poor family of eight children, a childhood she immortalized in her iconic track “Coal Miner’s Daughter” – a hit on lists. of all time best songs.

“Well I was born a coal miner’s daughter / In a shack, on a hill in Butcher Holler,” Lynn sang in the 1970 hit – later the theme song to a 1980 film about her life with Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar for the role.

“We was poor but we had love / That’s the only thing daddy made sure of. He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s money.”

At just 15, the artist married Oliver Vanetta Lynn, to whom she remained married for nearly 50 years until his death in 1996.

They moved to a logging community in Washington State, and Lynn gave birth to four children before she was 20, adding twins to the family soon after.

An admirer of his wife’s voice, her husband bought Lynn a guitar in the early 1950s.

It would be a fateful gift.

The self-taught musician wrote lyrics inspired by her own early experiences as a married woman and her often tumultuous relationship, the early days of a prolific career that would see the artist release dozens of albums.

She started her own band, Loretta and the Trailblazers, and started playing bar sets before releasing her first record – “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” in 1960.

Her twang was warm and languorous, but Lynn’s lyrics were anything but: she sang with searing precision of the growing pains of marriage and gave voice to issues that women had long remained silent about.

“Most songwriters tended to write about falling in love and breaking up and being alone, things like that,” Lynn told The Wall Street Journal in 2016. I wrote was new.”

“I just wrote about what I knew, and what I knew usually involved something someone did to me.”

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