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The country singer Loretta Lynn died on Tuesday at the age of 90. The award-winning superstar shared her talent with millions for decades, yet behind her celebrity status was a devoted Christian, wife, and mom ofsix.
Beyond all the fame and celebrity, Loretta Lynn was a woman who faced some real hardship and sorrow throughout her life.
She was married for nearly 50 years to Oliver (“Doo”) Lynn, whom she described in Still Woman Enough: A Memoir as “a good man and a hard worker. But he was an alcoholic, and it affected our marriage all the way through.” Her husband died aged 69 in 1996.
She also endured the loss of two of her children: Jack Benny Lynn died in 1984 at the age of 34 while trying to cross a river; and her eldest daughter, Betty Sue, died in 2013 at 64 from emphysema.
Thankfully, throughout her struggles, Lynn could turn to her music — and her faith. Although she wasn’t baptized as a child, she attended church on Sundays. In her book, Coal Miner’s Daughter, she explains:
I believed it all, but for some reason, I was never baptized. After I started in music, I got away from going to church and reading the Bible. I believe I was living the way God meant me to, but I wasn’t giving God the right attention.”
However, when fellow band member John Thornhill was baptized, it set Lynn on a return journey to studying the Bible and growing closer to Christ. She was eventually baptized in her early 40s, despite being scared of being immersed — she had a deep fear of water.
In her autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter, the singer explained how she was “trying to lead a good Christian life … so there ain’t too much spicy to tell about me — just the truth,” and reminded us, “Nobody’s perfect. The only one that ever was, was crucified.”
While Lynn’s life may have been far from perfect, her devotion to her faith, fans, and family will no doubt continue to inspire others as her sweet tones remain a legacy in country music today.