Brandi Carlile realized that as she reflected on Loretta Lynn’s life and legacy as one of country music’s most legendary trailblazers, she couldn’t properly pay tribute to Lynn without recognizing two other iconic artists: Tanya Tucker and Wynonna Judd.
Lynn, who passed away peacefully at her Tennessee ranch on Tuesday morning (October 4), “always had time” for Tucker and Judd. Both of those artists are “heroes and friends” to Carlile now, and they treat her the same way that Lynn treated them. Carlile shared the values Lynn instilled in a heartfelt Instagram caption:
“It occurred to me today, as I was contemplating the loss of our dear and powerful Loretta Lynn, that when she was a younger woman and already a legend, she treated these two women (and many more) the way they now treat me… I’m thinking about Loretta’s family today and her many close friends, but I’m also thinking about my heroes and friends [Tanya Tucker] and [Wynonna Judd] as well.
“She always had time for Tanya and Wynonna. She always had a kind word for them and wisdom like wildfire. I only got to meet ‘Retty’ with Tanya a couple of times, but today, more than ever, I’m realizing that [Loretta Lynn] set an example for women in country music that can be felt throughout the ages. She’ll never be gone as long as the ones she looked after continue to pay all her love and attention forward to the younger generations…and I know they will.
“Thank you Loretta for treating my heroes so special and thank you Tanya and Wy for making me feel the way she made you feel. I’m sorry you lost your incredible friend 💔💪🏼”
Carlile’s heartfelt sentiment rang true with many others in the country music community and beyond. Actress Kathy Najimy hailed Carlile a poet. Country star Martina McBride said it’s “so true,” and “part of her legacy is the kindness and mentorship we all felt. Her legacy and our duty and our privilege is to pass that on. ❤️” Monarch actress Beth Ditto commented: “This is so sincere and touching. I always always always wanted to meet Loretta Lynn. She has that country southern wisdom , that turn of phrase, that Sharp wit that is so specific to southern people. Like my granny Ditto. Like my mother, my aunts, my sister. We lost a precious vessel today.But her spirit still swirls in the ether. Bless her family and friends. 2022 strikes again. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
Tucker and Judd each shared emotional messages to pay tribute to Lynn. Tucker wrote a heartbreaking Instagram caption, saying that her “world changed and it will never be the same again” after losing her “hero.” Judd reflected on memories with Lynn throughout her life, and considered her family: “Loretta was like an aunt to me. I would call her and she would tell me stories. Some of my fondest memories of Loretta come from her telling me all about her life in Butcher Holler.”
Lynn’s family announced in a statement on Tuesday: “Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills.” The family asked for privacy and noted that a public announcement would follow with details of Lynn’s memorial. See Carlile’s post about Lynn’s legacy here: