Loretta Lynn Memorial Service to Air on CMT

George Strait, Brandi Carlile, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Little Big Town and Wynonna are among the artists who will pay tribute to Loretta Lynn on Oct. 30 during Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn.

The event, helmed by CMT and Sandbox Productions in partnership with the late legend’s family, will air live and commercial-free on CMT at 7 p.m. ET from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. Lynn, 90, died at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., on Oct. 4.


Hosted by NBC’s Today show co-host and family friend Jenna Bush Hager, the evening will also include performances and appearances from Barbara Mandrell, Lynn’s sister Crystal Gayle, Darius Rucker, Emmy Russell & Lukas Nelson, Faith Hill, Margo Price, Martina McBride, Sheryl Crow, Tanya Tucker, The Highwomen (Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby and Brittney Spencer) and more artists to be announced later. 

“We are truly honored to work closely alongside Loretta’s family to create a celebration of life fit for a true queen of country music, Loretta Lynn,” said CMT’s senior vp of production, music & events Margaret Comeaux and senior vp of music strategy and talent Leslie Fram, who serve as executive producers along with Sandbox’s Jason Owen, Ladypants Productions’ Patrizia DiMaria, Lynn’s daughter and manager Patsy Lynn Russell and Essential Broadcast Media’s Ebie McFarland. “She was a true original, a woman who always sang from her heart, never shied away from challenging the status quo and blazed the path forward for her fellow female artists. From her firecracker spirit and signature musicality to her unmistakable country style and unparalleled authenticity, we look forward to honoring her in the best way we know how: sharing stories and songs with her family, friends and the legions of fans she loved dearly.”

Lynn, whose hardscrabble life story was turned into the 1980 Oscar-winning biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter, recorded 16 No. 1 singles and was among country music’s pioneering female artists. 

The memorial service comes five months after CMT and Sandbox joined together to honor the life and career of another Nashville icon, Naomi Judd, for a similar televised live event. Judd died April 30 at age 76. 

Also coming from CMT is Nov. 8’s Next Women of Country: Celebrating the Songs of Loretta Lynn showcase at City Winery Nashville. Fram and Wendy Moten will co-host the evening, featuring performances in the round from Bowen + Young, Brooke Eden, Caylee Hammack, Erin Enderlin, Miko Marks, Sacha, Stephanie Quayle and Tiera Kennedy.

CMT dedicated its Oct. 14 broadcast of the 2022 CMT Artists of the Year celebration to Lynn’s memory, with her sisters Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright delivering an emotional performance of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and with special presentations from McBride and Tucker.

Two additional commercial-free encores of the Oct. 30 celebration will air on CMT on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. ET and Nov. 6 at 11 a.m. ET.  The special will also be made available on Paramount+ in early 2023.

Melinda Newman