Five Highlights from the Loretta Lynn Celebration of Life Event at the Grand Ole Opry

Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMT)

Country legend Loretta Lynn died on October 4th, she was 90.

A celebration of life was held at the Grand Ole Opry House on Sunday, October 30th hosted by Jenna Bush Hager. The celebration aired live on CMT with encore performances on November 2, 7 pm and Sunday, November 6, 10 am.

Limited amount of fan tickets were available and just as the show began, Hager shared fans lined up to take part in the star packed tribute to Loretta Lynn as early as 4 am on Sunday.

Opening the memorial, Wynonna Judd, featuring the Gaither Vocal Band + Larry Strickland, delivered a chills-inducing performance of the classic hymn, “How Great Thou Art” for the night’s first standing ovation.

As the night continued, several shared memories of Loretta Lynn. Sissy Spacek, who played Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter recalled being “thunderstruck” upon first meeting Loretta; Dolly Parton shared that “Loretta was the best friend anybody could ever have.” Taylor Swift praised Lynn for being an example for all songwriters, particularly females with her ‘truthful, fearless honesty’ in her writing.

A host of artists performed throughout the evening that included Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, and more. Below, we’ve shared five special performances from the celebration.

Keith Urban – “You’re Looking at Country”

Just before Urban’s performance, he shared a voicemail from Lynn inviting him to her birthday party as he spoke fondly about the icon. “You’re Looking at Country” was a song written and performed by Lynn.

Alan Jackson – “Where Her Heart Has Always Been”

Alan Jackson expressed his gratitude to the Lynn family for allowing him to sing “Where Her Heart Has Always Been,” the song he wrote for his mother when she passed away, in memory of Loretta. He shared that Loretta often reminded him of his mother: “Both were outgoing, sweet and genuine and would tell you exactly what was on their minds.”

Emmy Russell & Lukas Nelson – “Lay Me Down”

In 2016, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson teamed up for the first time to record “Lay Me Down.” During the celebration of life, Lukas Nelson, Willie Nelson’s son and Emmy Russell, Lynn’s granddaughter performed the duet. Russell shared how her grandmother would bring her out to perform with her and this was the first time performing without seeing those proud eyes on the side stage.

George Strait – “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)”

King George remembered Loretta as “one helluva songwriter and entertainer,” also saying, “‘I love her and miss her dearly.”

The Highwomen- “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Closing out the celebration of life was The Highwomen with Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, and Natalie Hemby and special guest Brittany Spencer performed one of Lynn’s biggest hits- “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” The song which tells Lynn’s beginnings and was eventually released as a movie starring Sissy Spacek.



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