Loretta Lynn, a country music legend who has been in the limelight for nearly six decades, died at 90 on October 4, 2022. Following her death, people took to social media to leave messages of love for her family and shared tributes to her long career. Among them was Jack White, a collaborator, booster, and perhaps the biggest fan of the country music legend.
The daughter of a Kentucky coal miner, Loretta’s lyrics about life as a woman gave her a unique voice in the country music scene. She was unlike anyone else in the scene in the 1960s, particularly for women at the time, and for decades her career continued to break ground in country music. She wrote about love and sex, birth control, cheating, and divorce. Loretta penned some of the most iconic songs, including “Coal Miner's Daughter," "You Ain't Woman Enough," "The Pill," and "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind).”
Loretta was reintroduced to another generation with her 2005 album “Van Lear Rose,” for which she napped two Grammys. The album was a collaboration with White, who played guitar, offered backup vocals, and produced the album.
“What a sad day today is. We lost one of the greats, Loretta Lynn,” Jack said in a video tribute he posted to Instagram. “I said when I was first asked about her, what I thought, and I said years ago that I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century.”
“I still believe that,” he continued. “Loretta used to say to make it in the business, you had to either be great, different, or first, and she thought that she was just different, and that’s how she made it, but I think she was all three of those things and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up too.”
“She was such an incredible presence and such a brilliant genius in ways that I think only people who got to work with her might know about. What she did for feminism, women’s rights in a time period, in a genre of music that was the hardest to do it in, that’s just outstanding and will live on for a long time.”
He continued, “I learned so much from her working together on this album Van Lear Rose, and there was times where I just had to take a pause and step outside because she was just so brilliant, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and hearing. I almost felt like she didn’t even realize it, you know. But she was just a genius and just brilliant at what she did, and we were lucky to have her, and people can learn from example, the rags to riches part of it and the beautiful natural voice part of it.”
Jack finished his tribute by saying Loretta was “like a mother figure” to him and called her “ a very good friend.”
“She told me some amazing things that I’ll never tell anybody,” he concluded. “Rest in peace, Loretta. God bless you.”