Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait in circa 1961 in Nashville, Tennessee. / Singer Loretta Lynn performs onstage at Stubbs on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images/ Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Loretta Lynn Through the Years: Look Back at the 90-Year-Old Country Icon's Life in Photos


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Loretta Lynn was born on April 14, 1932 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. The coal miner's daughter cut her first record in 1960 and never stopped. Lynn has won more awards than any other female country music artist in history. In her over six decades as a recording artist, she has scored 11 No. 1 albums and 24 No. 1 hit singles. Although health issues forced her to stop touring in 2017, Lynn is still releasing new music. In celebration of her 90th birthday in 2022, let's look back at key moments of this living legend's life in photos.

1960: Lynn Cuts Her First Record

Loretta Lynn Portrait With Acoustic Guitar

CIRCA 1960: Loretta Lynn holds her acoustic guitar as she poses for a portrait wearing a cowboy hat, a scarf and western shirt outside a log cabin in circa 1960. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Loretta Lynn married Oliver Vanetta "Doolittle" Lynn when she was only 15 years old. With her husband's encouragement, Lynn bought herself a $17 Harmony guitar and taught herself how to play it. She started her own band, Loretta and the Trailblazers, with her brother Jay Lee on lead guitar. Lynn cut her first record, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," in 1960 and became a fixture on the Nashville scene. Other 1960s hits include "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)," "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" and "Fist City."

1970s: Lynn Forms a Professional Partnership with Conway Twitty

Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty pose for a portrait in circa 1979. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1971, Lynn and Conway Twitty began a professional partnership that yielded numerous number-one hits, including the Grammy-winning "After the Fire Is Gone," "Lead Me On," "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man," "As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone" and "Feelins'." She became the first woman to be nominated for and win the CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1972. Four years later, Lynn released her best-selling autobiography Coal Miner's Daughter. In 1977, she recorded a tribute album, I Remember Patsy, dedicated to her friend Patsy Cline, who lost her life in a plane crash in 1963.

1980: The Film Coal Miner's Daughter Is a Huge Hit

Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek

Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek, winner of Best Actress for "Coal Miner's Daughter" (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

A movie adaptation of Lynn's autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, was released in 1980 with Sissy Spacek starring as Lynn. The movie was a box office hit and got nominated for seven Oscars, with Spacek winning Best Actress. Other 1980s hit songs by Lynn include "Pregnant Again," "Naked in the Rain," "I Lie" and "Somebody Led Me Away."

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1993: Lynn Teams Up with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette

Photo of Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton performing together

Photo by Beth Gwinn/Redferns

In 1993, Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette released the hit album Honky Tonk Angels. The project featuring the three country goddesses had been rumored for over a decade, as you can see above in this picture from the early 1980s, until Parton's persistence finally made it happen. In 1996, Lynn's husband passed away just a few days shy of his 70th birthday. This unexpected loss shaped Lynn's artistic output going forward.

2002: Lynn Publishes Her Second Autobiography

Country music legend Loretta Lynn, the original 'Coalminer's Daughter' was at 'Barnes and Noble' bookstore on 5th Avenue to sign her book 'Still Woman Enough' in New York, United States on April 04, 2002. (Photo by David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

In 2002, Lynn released her second best-selling autobiography, Still Woman Enough. Two years later, Lynn published her first cookbook and released the album Van Lear Rose, the second album for which Lynn either wrote or cowrote every song. The White Stripes' Jack White produced the album, which won the Best Country Album of the Year Grammy, and provided backup vocals and guitar work.

2010s: Lynn Releases More Albums Despite Health Issues

Singer Loretta Lynn performs onstage at Stubbs on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

In 2015, Lynn released her 43rd solo studio album, Full Circle, which featured guest vocalists Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello. In 2017, Lynn suffered a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. This delayed the release of her album Wouldn't It Be Great until 2018, the same year she also broke her hip. Sadly, because of these health setbacks, Lynn has not toured or sang at the Grand Ole Opry since 2017. She is pictured above in 2016 performing at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

2021: Lynn Releases Her 50th Studio Album

Tayla Lynn, Kellie Pickler, Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire attend the 2019 Nashville Songwriters Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 17, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Loretta Lynn's 2021 album Still Woman Enough is her 50th studio album overall and her 46th solo studio album. Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire lend their voices to the title track, while Tanya Tucker and Margo Price sing duets with Lynn on other tracks. Despite recent health setbacks, the country queen shows little sign of slowing down even as she enters her 90s. Long may you reign, Queen Loretta!

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READ MORE: Loretta Lynn's Ranch Tells the Story of the Country Icon's Life

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