Country music legend Loretta Lynn is being honored with her own statue at the historic Ryman Auditorium's Icon Walk.
Ryman Hospitalities chairman and CEO Colin Reed spoke at the unveiling, explaining the cultural significance of the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry.
"As the caretakers of this magnificent building, we have the unique privilege of sharing its history with hundreds of thousands of visitors in a typical year. And while 2020 has been anything but typical, our commitment to protecting and preserving and celebrating the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry is stronger than ever. The Grand Ole Opry has been a source of comfort and joy for literally millions of people each week throughout this pandemic. Just as it has been for 95 years through depressions, world wars, recessions and everything in between."
The venue's Icon Walk serves to honor the artists who shaped both the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry.
"Now we have the pleasure of honoring a living legend with a likeness that will be a permanent fixture for future generations to enjoy. I don't think it's possible to tell the history of the Opry or the Ryman without talking about Loretta. She's a trailblazer who has remained one of the most beloved entertainers to ever set foot on this wonderful stage."
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Although Loretta Lynn couldn't be present, a member of her family read the following statement.
"My dream, like thousands of other singers, was just singing on the Grand Ole Opry. Being a member of the Grand Ole Opry has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Many years I've stood on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium and there's no place like it. Now they're unveiling the statue in my honor. It's like I'm going to get to be there for many more years to come. It means so much to me to have the statue and be a part of all these wonderful artists."
The statue of Loretta Lynn is open to the public.
In 1972, Lynn became the first woman to win the CMA (Country Music Association) award for Entertainer of the Year. In 1979, she was named the ACM Artist of the Decade at the Academy of Country Music awards.