Loretta Lynn delivered heartfelt remarks in a pre-recorded message that played at the Grand Ole Opry on Sunday evening (October 30), as a crowd gathered to remember the late country legend. Lynn died earlier this month at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She was 90.
CMT worked with Sandbox Productions to host the Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration Of The Life & Music Of Loretta Lynn memorial service. The service aired live Sunday evening, and will re-air on two additional dates. Lynn said in her pre-recorded message, per CMT:
“To my friends, thank you for giving me such a great life. I have never taken it or you for granted. Because of you, my kids didn't have to grow up poor the way I did. As a mother, I didn't have to go to bed heartbroken. What you gave me allowed me to give them a better life. I hope you know what a gift that is. I have shared my story so many times through my songs, through my books, through my movie. I have tried to give back to you as much as I could, even though I know I can't. I could never repay you for the life and the love that you've given to me. Thank you. I've traveled all over the world, but I never got to see much, that is, except for you – my fans, my friends. I want you to know that I saw and remember every one of you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The star-studded memorial service to pay tribute to the musical legend was hosted by Jenna Bush Hager, and included stunning performances by The Highwomen, Brandi Carlile, Keith Urban, Margo Price, Jack White, Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and more. Lynn’s granddaughter, Emmy Russell, took the stage with Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson, to duet “Lay Me Down.” George Strait, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Wynonna Judd and more also remembered Lynn at the Grand Ole Opry house on Sunday. Others to attend or honor Lynn via video included Kacey Musgraves, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Kid Rock. Many shared sweet memories with the iconic artist.
“She was funny and fun and wise and just always Loretta,” Martina McBride said. “She paid attention to our careers and made us feel like we were special to her and like she was in our corner. And I feel part of her legacy now is that it is up to us to mentor and make sure we all know we have each other’s backs and that the ones coming up the ladder feel our support, too. That we are available and we can now say, ‘I love you, honey. Come see me anytime.”
Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration Of The Life & Music Of Loretta Lynn will air again on Wednesday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, and on Sunday, November 6 at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT. Viewers can also stream it on Paramount+ early next year, per CMT. Watch some of the performances below: