Dolly Parton On Grieving Loss Of Loretta Lynn & Naomi Judd, Reveals Alan Jackson Song That Reminds Her Of Them

Dolly Parton has had a memorable year with some pinnacle moments – one of which included an unexpected induction into the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But even through some of the happiest days, she has experienced some…

By

Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

Editorial Policy

|

Posted on December 11, 2022

Share on:

Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Naomi Judd; Photos Courtesy of Instagram

Dolly Parton has had a memorable year with some pinnacle moments – one of which included an unexpected induction into the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But even through some of the happiest days, she has experienced some sadness.

Along with many artists in country music, Parton mourned the loss of two of her very good friends, fellow stars Loretta Lynn and Naomi Judd, who passed away in 2022.

Their deaths were just six months apart.

In a recent interview on TODAY, Parton opened up about the two artists, who were beloved icons in the country music world. She said while she is still in the process of grieving over her friends, she is holding onto the good times she got to spend with them.

It’s those memories that stick close to her heart.

“Those things are very special,” Parton explained. “With Loretta, she was very dear to me, like a sister. Same with Naomi. We were (the) same age, and we loved the same things. And I loved her.”

“I also lost Kenny Rogers — three of my dearest people — in the business, in a very short period of time,” she added, of her “Islands in the Stream” duet partner, who died peacefully at home surrounded by close family members on March 20, 2020. “I grieve over them almost like you do a family member. And I think of them, but you try to keep the good memories.”

Parton named one song, which makes her feel closer to the people she loved and lost – Alan Jackson’s “Precious Memories.”

“The line I love in that song is, ‘Precious memories, unseen angels sent from somewhere to my soul,’” Parton shared. “And I think about that. Those precious memories. They just flow in and out of you, and you remember special things about them. [They’re] like unseen angels, and you feel like they’re still all around you.”

Moved by Parton’s words, Hoda Kotb, who was interviewing the “9 To 5” singer, couldn’t help but get emotional.

“Oh, my God. That’s so beautiful. I feel very weepy,” she said, wiping away her tears.

Both Lynn and Judd’s deaths came as a shock to the country music world. Lynn passed away peacefully in her sleep at her Hurricane Mills ranch in Tennessee on Oct. 4. She was 90. Judd’s death happened on April 30, following a lengthy battle with depression. She was 76. Judd’s death was exceptionally tragic as it came one day before The Judds were to be inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Judd’s daughters, Wynonna Judd – one half of the mother/daughter duo The Judds – and Ashley Judd, shared in a statement via Twitter. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by the public. We are in unknown territory.”

Although Parton still feels heartache from her incredible losses, she is looking ahead to the holidays and already has plans for closing out 2022.
Parton is teaming up with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus to ring in the New Year. The pair will co-host Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party on NBC.

“NEW YEAR, NEW CO-HOST! 🍾 Tune in to Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party 12/31 at 10:30 pm ET on @NBC and @PeacockTV to watch us rock out the show,” the stars shared a tease of the upcoming celebration in a joint post on Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus)

Parton, who – in 2023 – will release her first-ever rock ‘n’ roll album in celebration of her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, also shared her New Year’s resolution.

“My hopes for the new year is a little more kindness, a little more love, a little more trying to pull together instead of falling apart. I’m going to try my best to try to bring as much joy as I can and lift people up as much as I can in my way,” Parton shared. “I just think we all need to try a little harder. I don’t care what our politics are, or religion, or our color, or anything else. We need to try a little harder.”

Share on:

Written by

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

See more posts from Melinda Lorge