Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. The numbers speak for themselves: Her career has spanned nearly 60 years. She’s been nominated for 18 Grammys and won three. She has had 12 number one singles and 10 number-one albums on the Billboard Country Charts. She toured for 50 years and only retired after she had a stroke in 2017 when she was 85-years-old. In 2018, she broke her hip, which solidified her retirement from the road, per The Tennessean.
Lynn came from famously humble beginnings. She was born in 1932, and is the oldest daughter and second child of eight children born to Clara and Ted Webb. Her father was a coal miner, so “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is truly the story of her life. “… In one of the verses, I talked about Mommy papering the wall with movie magazines,” she said during an interview with NPR in 2000. “And she named me after Loretta Young, because she had Bette Davis and Claudette Colbert and Loretta Young up on the wall.”
“And the day before I was born, she said, ‘If this baby is a little girl, I’m going to name her after one of them girls,'” Lynn continued. “And she said, ‘I kept looking at the pictures, and I thought Loretta Young was the prettiest, so I named you Loretta.’ And I’m glad she did.”
Lynn left home at 13 when she married Mooney Lynn and started her remarkable career. Keep reading for some insight into her seven siblings.
Loretta Lynn isn't the only musical talent in the family
Four of Loretta Lynn’s eight siblings have died, as of this writing. Melvin Webb was the eldest, born in 1929 and died in 1993. He had nine kids. Herman came after Loretta, born in 1934 and living until 2018. He had three daughters. Willie, who owned a drug store in Nashville, was the fourth in line. He was born in 1937 and also threw his hat into the musical arena. Willie is best known for “I Come Home A-Drinkin’ (To a Worn-Out Wife Like You),” which was released in 1967 as an “answer song” to Loretta’s #1 hit that same year, “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin.'” He was also part of Loretta’s touring band for a while, per All Music. He worked right up until his death in 1996. Donald was born fifth in 1941. He shared some of Loretta’s musical genes and was a songwriter for his youngest sister, per Wide Open Country. He died in 2017.
All four Webb sisters are still alive. Peggy was born sixth in 1943, followed by Betty in 1946, and finally Brenda in 1951. You may know Brenda by her stage name — she’s country music superstar Crystal Gayle! Loretta and Crystal aren’t the only successful country music stars in their family. Peggy Sue had brief success as a country singer in the late 1960s too! She released five albums. So even if Loretta is the most famous sibling, she’s clearly not the only talent in the family!
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