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Loretta Lynn Absent from CMT Artist of a Lifetime Honor Due to Illness

On Wednesday night (Oct. 17), Loretta Lynn was honored as Artist of a Lifetime at the CMT Artists of the Year event. But the woman of the hour was unable to attend the ceremony due to an illness.

The country legend informed fans via social media that she wouldn't be appearing at the ceremony and shared her disappointment that she had to miss it. However, the "Coal Miner's Daughter" singer let everyone know that she was tuning in to the broadcast and was "there in spirit."

"Well Y'all, leave it to me to go and get sick on the very night all my friends are getting together to honor me at the CMT Award Show as their Artist of a Lifetime. I can't believe that I'm not gonna be there tonight in person, but I am watching and I'm there in spirit!"

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Earlier in the day, Lynn reiterated her appreciation for the honor, tweeting "This award sure means the world to me."

Though Lynn couldn't be there, she was still able to see a beautiful tribute to her music and legacy. Sissy Spacek, who portrayed Lynn in the 1980 biopic Coal Miner's Daughter, presented Lynn's award and gave an emotional and heartfelt speech, calling Lynn "my cheerleader, my sister, my best friend."

It goes without saying that there was an incredible musical tribute to the singer. Martina McBride took the stage to sing Lynn's 1966 single "You Ain't Woman Enough," while Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow took on the Lynn and Conway Twitty classic "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man."

The 2018 CMT Artists of the Year event celebrated women in country music. In addition to Lynn, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott were honored.

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