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Loretta Lynn, losing a legend

By Marc Zisman |

The country music legend and early feminist was 90 years old when she passed away on October 4th...

Loretta Lynn, who passed away on Tuesday, October 4th 2022, had not waited for the #MeToo movement to demand that women not be physically and sexually abused, nor parked in the kitchen to prepare fried chicken for their cheating cowboys of husbands. In the early 60s when the self-proclaimed 'Coal Miner's Daughter' (nicknamed from her family origins which also went on to be her most famous song) started to push her legitimate shouting, women's rights began to be challenged.

And when, in 1975, Loretta defended the contraceptive pill in The Pill, she was banned from the radio stations of ultra-conservative Nashville! Loretta, who always preferred for these songs to be referred to as "pleas for ordinary women" rather than "feminist anthems", constantly pushed the boundaries in Music City.

From the pill to pregnancies (One's on the Way), war widows (Dear Uncle Sam), clichés about housewives (Rated X), marriage-breaking mistresses (Fist City), Loretta Lynn has tackled all possible subjects without concession, regularly being criticised by macho pundits. Having grown up in a poor family with seven brothers and sisters, being married to an alcoholic, unfaithful and violent lumberjack at 13, becoming a mother at 14 and grandmother at 32, she is above all more than justified to set her daily life to music.

A life that fascinated Hollywood (in 1980, Michael Apted directed the biopic Nashville Lady (Coal Miner's Daughter) with Sissy Spacek who won an Oscar) and continues to influence generations of artists (in 2004, Jack White of the White Stripes produced her album Van Lear Rose). This never-submissive fighter is now an untouchable icon. Without a doubt, the country artist has changed mentalities like no other...


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