April 20, 2024

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Loretta Lynn, country music star and icon of country resilience, dies at 90

Loretta Lynn, country music star and icon of country resilience, dies at 90

Mr. Lin continued to run his wife’s career, insisting that she perform on honky tonks and on radio stations even before she was convinced by her musical gifts. Mrs. Lin’s dependence on her husband made him a father figure like her husband, even though he was less than six years her senior. He used the term “hit” to describe the times he hit him. It wasn’t until the couple moved to Nashville in the early 1960s that Lady Lynn Patsy Klein befriended her and began standing up for her husband.

“After I met Patsy, life improved for me because I resisted,” Ms. Lynn told Nashville Scene. “Before that, I just took it. I had to. I was 3,000 miles away from my mom and dad and I had four little kids. There was nothing I could do about it. But later on, it started to cross my mind when things weren’t going well.”

Ms. Lin’s growing insistence coincided with the first moves of the modern women’s movement. The label declined feminism in interviews, but many of its songs, including the 1978 song “We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby,” were fiery expressions of female resolve. She sang in that song:

Well, I don’t want a wall to paint, but I will say my word.

From now on, lover boy, 50-50 years old, all the way.

So far I have been something designed to please you.

Times have changed and I demand satisfaction too.

Mrs. Lynn’s sexual politics took an emphatic turn with “The Pill” (1975), a raucous celebration of reproductive freedom written by Lauren Allen, Don McChan and T.D. Pills. Candid recordings like this one and “Rated X,” about double standards facing divorcees, might not have been very popular with conservative-leaning country music audiences had they not been smoothed over by Mrs. Lin’s playful manner with a lyric. In “Ranked X,” the first country to be a hit in 1972, she wrote, “Women look at you like you’re bad, and all men hope you are.”

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