Loretta Lynn has forged the path for women in country music. She’s not afraid to sing about any subject matter, and her decades long career has proven that women can have staying power in a mostly male genre. Billboard recently sat down with the legend to talk about her career, music, life and eventually death.
How have you seen the music industry change for women during the past 55 years?
Oh, it has opened the doors for all of them. When I started singing, there weren’t that many women singing. Kitty Wells, Jean Shepard, Patsy Cline.
Do you feel responsible for helping open doors for other women?
I think I have done quite a bit. I’m probably one of the girl singers who have helped other girl singers getting in the business, because it is harder for girls to get on labels and be out there.
What makes it harder?
For me, it was being married and having one kid after another. I had twins when I just started singing. We didn’t know we were going to have twins until the day they were born. I think it’s harder on a woman than it is a man. I really do.
You really have had an amazing life.
Yeah, I look back and see the artists I’d met when I’d first come to Nashville, and they haven’t been on the road in 30 years. I’m still hitting that road and doing as much as I always did. I never drank, I never smoked. I always took care of myself like that. I’ve been singing for a long time. And I haven’t quit.
Have you ever thought about retiring?
Naw. When they lay me down six feet under, [then] they can say, “Loretta’s quit singing.” I’ll have on one of my gowns. That’s morbid, but it’s the truth.
What are your worries?
Not a thing. I sleep well. God has been good to me, hasn’t he?
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