Über Loretta Lynn
For the uninitiated, Loretta Lynn is one of the very biggest names in the history of Country Pop; before Reba McEntire, there was Loretta. From the start of her career in 1962 she's maintained a familiar Top-10 face, but it was the Oscar-winning film Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) that made her a brand name in non-(Ford)truck-driving households across the nation. One of the first female country singers to address feminist issues, Lynn was considered a maverick during the '70s by the Grand Ole Opry's stuffed-shirt elite. With songs like "Don't Come Home a Drinkin'" and "The Pill" she stood in stark contrast to the stand-by-your-abuser sentiment of the time. This outspoken quality and her bedrock vocal style has been her legacy, influencing countless artists and earning her the utmost respect of the Nashville nation. The album-per-year pace Lynn had kept up for almost thirty years began to slacken during the '90s as she went into a sort of semiretirement, releasing fewer records, but choosing her material more carefully. As a duet partner, she teamed up with nearly every big-name country artist, ushering that peculiarly country tradition into contemporary times. Still Country (2000) finds her in fine form; the hard Honky-Tonk rocker "Country in My Genes" serves as a showcase for her pure country vitality and confirms her icon status.