Jeannie Seely honored her late friend and fellow Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn with a special tribute performance on Tuesday evening (Oct. 4).
In the midst of Seely’s 5233rd performance at the Opry in Nashville, the 82-year-old singer/songwriter delivered a touching performance of Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).”
“I have to say the entire world is mourning the loss of one of our Opry members today and I just want to remember her and let some of you know that she was the matriarch of the Grand Ole Opry, meaning that she was the longest living female member of the Grand Ole Opry and she reigned very well in that title,” Seely shared with the audience. ”What a classic lady.”
Surrounded by the Opry band, Seely performed the iconic Lynn tune as photos of the late Country Music Hall of Famer filled the Opry stage’s backdrop.
After hearing the news of Lynn’s passing, Seely shared a heartfelt message remembering her the Country music legend.
“There are simply no words to adequately describe my feelings at this loss,” Seely shared. “She was the Matriarch of our Opry Family the past several years and even though she could not be there in person, she was very much in that building, in our hearts, and on our minds.”
She continued, “She was very welcoming to me when I came, asking me to sit down beside her and tell her about me. I was thrilled then and it still thrills me to think she was interested. In the end she just patted my knee and said ‘Don’t ever change.’ Her impact on our industry through her songs was huge. She made everyone aware, starkly at times, of the plight of some women’s lives, and that awareness brought about changes. Of course, I will always remember her sense of humor! She would ask me to tell her a joke and then say “Tell Doo so he can explain it to me”!”
Seely, who recently celebrated 55-years as an Opry member and over 5000 performances on the iconic stage, concluded by saying, “she will always be one of Country Music’s greatest gifts to the world.”
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.