NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The final farewell to country music icon Loretta Lynn drew a full house Sunday night, with thousands of family, friends, and fans gathered at the Grand Ole Opry House for her celebration of life and memorial.
From the moment you walked into the legendary Nashville venue on Sunday, Oct. 30, it was a memorable evening. Family and invited friends were given a flower and a program with Lynn’s handwritten lyrics of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on the back.
Lynn was known for her queenly grace and style, so many of her full-length gowns were on display just inside the door of the memorial.
Family members, such as Lynn’s granddaughter Tayla, took the time to walk around the room and hug guests as they arrived.
Wynonna, Larry Strickland, and The Gaither Vocal Band kicked off the celebration with a powerful rendition of “How Great Though Art.”
From Tanya Tucker and Martina McBride, the women Lynn inspired, to Jack White and those who recognized she was a true treasure and introduced her to another genre of fans decades later, some of the biggest names in music took the stage on Sunday evening.
Alan Jackson said Lynn reminded him of his mother before singing a song that he wrote following her death.
Lynn was described as a pioneer who stayed true to her roots with storytelling that inspired countless others.
“Such an icon in the music that we all love and that’s country music. She was a trailblazer, barrier breaker, original, beautiful, kind, sweet, and one hell of a songwriter, singer, and entertainer,” George Strait told the crowd before singing “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’.”
In addition, Tim McGraw comforted Faith Hill on stage as she teared up several times while expressing her love for Lynn.
“I am honored to have been in your presence Loretta. I am grateful to have so many memories with you. I am proud to be a woman in country music, I am proud to be a mom, I am proud to have had the privilege of following, for so many of us, of following you down the music path you blazed for all of us,” Hill said.
Lynn also considered her fans friends, so she wanted a memorial they could attend. Those fans began lining up at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday in hopes of getting a seat inside, with some coming from as far away as the United Kingdom.
“I think Loretta is country, isn’t she? There’s no one as big as her and there never will be again,” Caroline Feakin, who came from England to attend the memorial with her mom, told News 2.
The memorial ended with The Highwomen’s Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby, along with Brittney Spencer, singing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in honor of Lynn, who passed away at her Humphreys County ranch on Oct. 4 at the age of 90.