After hearing the news of Lynn’s passing, White, a longtime friend of Lynn’s who produced her 2004 album Van Lear Rose, took to social media to share an lengthy tribute video in honor of his longtime friend, “mother figure,” and woman he dubbed the “best female singer-songwriter of the 20th century.”
“What a sad day today is. We lost one of the greats, Loretta Lynn,” White began in the video. “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. 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.”
White went on to praise the path she paved for women with the Country music genre and the contributions she made to the world.
“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,” he continued. “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, is just outstanding and will live on for a long time. She broke down a lot of barriers for people that came after her.”
The White Stripes lead singer then gushed over her beautiful vocals and explained that he learned so much working with the Country Music Hall of Famer on her forty-second solo studio album.
“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. She was like a mother figure to me and also a very good friend at times. She told me some amazing things that I’ll never tell anybody. Rest in peace Loretta. God bless you.”
The pair of superstars also shared a duet together “Portland, Oregon,” which appears on Van Lear Rose, Lynn’s project produced by White.
Country music icon and Grand Ole Opry member, Loretta Lynn died at the age of 90 years old at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee in the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 4. Hours after Lynn’s passing, her family shared the following statement.
“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the Lynn family said.
Lynn, who was born on April 14, 1932, in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, is known as the Queen of Country Music after forging a path as a singer, songwriter, and entertainer while balancing her role as a wife and mother.
Over the course of her iconic 60-year career, Lynn earned a staggering 51 Top 10 hits and 16 No.1 hits to her name, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Fist City” and “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).” She has also sold over 45 million albums worldwide.
Lynn has also garnered every accolade available in music from GRAMMY awards to induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has won four GRAMMY awards, seven American Music Awards and eight Country Music Association awards and became the first woman to ever win the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards for Entertainer of the Year.
She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2008, and was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Lynn’s death comes just days after she celebrated her 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1962.
Lynn was predeceased by her husband of 48 years Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn, her daughter Betty Sue Lynn and son Jack Benny Lynn.
The legendary country singer is survived by her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn and her son Ernest Ray Lynn as well as grandchildren Lori Lynn Smith, Ethan Lyell, Elizabeth Braun, Tayla Lynn, Jack Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn Jr., Katherine Condya, Alexandria Lynn, Jasyntha Connelly, Megan Horkins, Anthony Brutto, Jason Lynn, Wesley Lynn, Levi Lynn, Emmy Rose Russell, David Russell, Lucca Marchetti and step grandchildren David Greer, Jennafer Russell, Melody Russell and Natalie Rapp, and her great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to be made to the Loretta Lynn Foundation. Information about a memorial service/celebration of life will be made available at a later date. For more information, visit LorettaLynn.com.