Loretta Lynn is not holding back when it comes to her thoughts on the current state of country music. During an appearance on Martina McBride's podcast Vocal Point with Martina McBride, the country legend and Country Music Hall of Fame member let her disappointment with modern country be known.
"They've already let it [die]," Lynn told McBride (as reported by People). "I think it's dead. I think it's a shame. I think it's a shame to let a type of music die. I don't care what any kind of music it is. Rock, country, whatever. I think it's a shame to let it die, and I'm here to start feeding it."
The singer-songwriter reiterated the need to save the sounds of traditional country music.
"I'm not happy at all," Lynn said. "I think that they're completely losing it. And I think that's a sad situation because we should never let country music die. I think that every type of music should be saved, and country is one of the greatest. It's been around, as far as I'm concerned, longer than any of it."
The country music genre has certainly shifted since the Kentucky native first made her mark as a trailblazer in the genre with hit songs such as "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin'," "One's On the Way," "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)," "Fist City" and "Coal Miner's Daughter." Known for her heartfelt and truth-filled lyrics, Lynn released her debut single "I'm A Honky Tonk Girl" in 1960.
In 2019, the country icon celebrated her 87th birthday with a star-studded Nashville concert featuring McBride, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Tanya Tucker, Kacey Musgraves, her sister Crystal Gayle and more. Keith Urban was even on hand to surprise Lynn by jumping out of her birthday cake.
Lynn isn't the only artist to question the direction of mainstream country music. Last year, Kelly Clarkson decried that "country music doesn't sound country anymore."
"Country music is gone. Like, I don't know who's making it, but there might be like four people," Clarkson said. "Now it's like weird word rap."
Clarkson also commented on the lack of women on country radio.
"Y'all don't play people with boobs either," Clarkson continued. "I was so inspired by Reba, Trisha, Patty...Martina, Terri, The Judds, Wynonna, Dolly, Shania. All these women from the '90s. What is happening in country music? This is what's happening: y'all aren't playing country music anymore."
Reba McEntire has also voiced her concern in the past.
In an interview with PBS News Hour last year, McEntire spoke out on the "bro country" trend and said she longs for a return to "real strong country."
This article was originally published in January of 2020. It was updated on Jan. 27, 2021.