The Many Times Loretta Lynn Made Awards Show History

Loretta Lynn made history when the nominations for the 1971 Country Music Association Awards were announced. She became the first woman to be nominated for entertainer of the year. She lost to another groundbreaking artist, Charley Pride, who became the first Black artist to win the award, but Lynn was nominated again the following year – and this time she won.

Accepting the award from Minnie Pearl, Lynn exclaimed, in the unpretentious and down-home way that made her such a beloved figure: “I’m real happy but the only thing that I’m kind of sad about is my husband is gone huntin’. He couldn’t make it back in time to share my happiness with me.”  

Lynn, who died Tuesday (Oct. 4) at age 90, won eight CMA Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, three Grammys and dozens of other awards over her lifetime.

In 1976, she became the first woman to win entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. She won three other ACM awards that year – top female vocalist of the year, top vocal group (for her long-running collaboration with Conway Twitty) and album of the year for their album Feelings.

In 2005, when she was 72, she had her biggest night at the Grammys, winning two awards — best country album for Van Lear Rose and best country collaboration with vocals for “Portland Oregon,” on which she teamed with Jack White (who produced the album).

Lynn received several lifetime achievement awards and was voted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Here are 10 more times Lynn made awards show history.

Paul Grein