When a country icon like Loretta Lynn passes away, the country music community comes together to honor her in every way possible. Carly Pearce performed her song “Dear Loretta” on the Grand Ole Opry last night (10/4) with Loretta’s image in the background to honor her.
After saying that Lynn was now officially a honky tonk angel, Carly introduced her performance by giving the audience a voicemail that Lynn left after she heard her song “Dear Miss Loretta” for the first time in 2021. Loretta’s voice is heard on the message saying, “Hi Carly, this is Loretta, honey, I’m laying here in bed just taking it easy, and I’m fixing to get up to wash my face and maybe comb my hair. I don’t know; I ain’t got no place to go, have I? Anyway, I love your song; thank you, sweetheart. I love you, honey. Hey, come and see me sometime!”
Pearce then told the crowd, “I’ve listened to that message a lot today, and if that does not capture the purest form and the essence of her beautiful soul, then I don’t know what does. So, I love you too, Loretta and I’m gonna sing your song for you.”
Reba McEntire told me in an interview in 2016 about seeing her hero at the rodeo. She said, “Well, see what they would do; they’d play the rodeo. They would pull a trailer out, and then the country music star for the night would come out and perform for the audience, and then they would go over to the dance hall and put on a dance. That’s the first time I actually met her. I whipped off my belt for her to sign, and man, I wish I still had that belt. I love Loretta Lynn.”
Reba posted to Instagram, “Mama and Loretta Lynn were four years apart, Mama being the oldest. They always reminded me a lot of each other. Strong women, who loved their children and were fiercely loyal. Now they’re both in Heaven, getting to visit and talk about how they were raised, how different country music is now from what it was when they were young. Sure makes me feel good that Mama went first so she could welcome Loretta into the hollers of Heaven!”
She concluded, “I always did, and I always will love Loretta. She was always so nice to me. I sure appreciate her paving the rough and rocky road for all us girl singers.”
Reba also posted a clip of her honoring Loretta in song at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003. See that post HERE.
Carrie Underwood also posted a lengthy message after hearing of Lynn’s death yesterday. She wrote on Instagram, “The first time I met Loretta Lynn was at the Grand Ole Opry at the beginning of my career. I was chatting in the corner with another artist, and someone walked behind me and smacked me on the rear end! I turned around, and there she was…in a big sparkly dress…laughing as she continued to walk down the hall at what she had just done…”
She continued, “This is one of my most favorite stories to tell. I think it sums up her personality pretty well. She was a cantankerous little pistol…friendly and sweet…never afraid to be herself and speak her mind. Over the years, I have had the honor of singing for her…and also with her…in some of the most special moments of my career. She is irreplaceable. She will be incredibly missed…but her legacy lives on in those of us whom she has influenced. I am truly grateful to have known such an amazing woman and artist.”
Carrie closed the post by saying, “Thank you, Loretta, for showing us how it’s done. May you Rest In Peace in the arms of Jesus and add your heavenly voice to the angel choir.