10 Essential Loretta Lynn Collaborations
Over the course of her over six decades in music, artist and songwriter Loretta Lynn broke barriers and earned nearly every accolade imaginable, with her autobiographical songs such as her signature “The Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “One’s On the Way,” and “Fist City,” as well as more progressive songs including “The Pill” and “Rated ‘X’.” She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Lynn was the first woman to be named entertainer of the year by the Country Music Association, in 1972. She also earned 16 No. 1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, as well as 51 top 10 singles and had 10 of her albums reach the pinnacle of Billboard’s top country albums chart.
While many of those hits included Lynn’s solo recordings such as “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and “Rated ‘X’,” Lynn was also half of one of the most well-known duos in country music, with the phrase “Conway and Loretta” mentioned alongside a lengthy list of country music’s power duos, including George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and a forebear to frequent duet partners including Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, as well as Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Together, Twitty and Lynn earned five No. 1 songs Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. They were named the Country Music Association’s vocal duo of the year from 1972 through 1975, and their duets such as “Lead Me On,” “After the Fire Is Gone” and “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” earned them Grammy recognition.
“I think when me and Conway walk in to record we try to outdo each other,” Lynn told journalist Alanna Nash during an interview for Nash’s book Behind Closed Doors. “We each try to sing better than the other… we really fight for the feel that we want. If I happen to think I’m singing a line and I’m not giving it my all, I’ll stop and say, ‘Hey, let’s do this over.’ And he does the same thing.'”
Along the way, Lynn brought that same competitive and collaborative spirit to similarly notable duets with Jack White on her Grammy-winning Van Lear Rose, as well as work with artists including Ernest Tubb, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, Randy Travis, George Jones, Tanya Tucker and more.
Following the news of Lynn’s passing on Tuesday (Oct. 4) at age 90, Billboard looks back at a few of her notable collabs.