Jack White Pays Tribute To Loretta Lynn: “The Greatest Female Singer-Songwriter Of The 20th Century”

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Jack White Pays Tribute To Loretta Lynn: “The Greatest Female Singer-Songwriter Of The 20th Century”

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Jack White has shared a touching tribute to the late country singer Loretta Lynn, whom he called “a mother figure” and “very good friend.” Posting a video to his Instagram, White said, “What a sad day today is. We lost one of the greats, Loretta Lynn. I said when I was first asked about her what I thought. I said years ago that I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. I still believe that.”

Here’s White’s full statement:

What a sad day today is. We lost one of the greats, Loretta Lynn. I said when I was first asked about her what I thought and I said years ago that I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. I still believe that. Loretta used to say to make it in the business, you had to either be great, different, or first, and she thought that she was just different and that’s how she made it, but I think she was all three of those things and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up too.

She was such an incredible presence and such a brilliant genius in ways that I think only people who got to work with her might know about. What she did for feminism, women’s rights in a time period, in a genre of music that was the hardest to do it in, is just outstanding and will live on for a long time. She broke down a lot of barriers for people that came after her.

I learned so much from her working together on this album Van Lear Rose and there was times where I just had to take a pause and step outside because she was just so brilliant, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and hearing. I almost felt like she didn’t even realize it, you know. But she was just a genius and just brilliant at what she did and we were lucky to have her and people can learn from example the rags to riches part of it and the beautiful natural voice part of it. She was like a mother figure to me and also a very good friend at times. She told me some amazing things that I’ll never tell anybody. Rest in peace Loretta. God bless you.

White famously produced Lynn’s 2004 album Van Lear Rose, which also featured guitar and background vocals from White. Van Lear Rose won the Grammy for Best Country Album Of The Year. In 2015, both Lynn and White were inducted into Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame.

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