Wednesday, October 13, 2010
– Fifty years in country music earned Loretta Lynn the tribute treatment Tuesday at the Ryman in Nashville with Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack among those showing up to honor Lynn.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Grammys, gave Lynn its Merit Award.
McEntire, who hosted the evening, performed Lynn's If You're Not Gone Too Long. "She still inspires me and every other female country singer out there," McEntire said.
"She was my hero when I was growing up in Oklahoma, and she is still my hero,"
Lynn grew up in Kentucky's coal mining region, but has released about 70 albums and garnered 16 number 1 hits. She also has not shied away from tackling controversial material like Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind) and The Pill.
During the evening, Kid Rock sang I Know How and teamed up with Gretchen Wilson on You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, a song made famous by Lynn and Conway Twitty in the 1970s.
Womack tackled I'm a Honky Tonk Girl, while McBride offered You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man and Love is the Foundation.
Jack White , who produced Lynn's last disc, "Van Lear Rose," called her "the most important female singer-songwriter of the 20th century." He talked about her contributions, but did not sing.
Brooks was Lynn's escort and joined her onstage when she received the award. Brooks and Lynn sang after the Fire is Gone with Brooks playing guitar. Lynn and Twitty also recorded the song.
"When I got here tonight I noticed my picture up on the stage, and that was when I realized this night was for me," Lynn said.
"I really didn't know the night was going to be all about me, but I sure am proud," Lynn said. "I don't know what to say but thank you."