Superstars from both the country and rock worlds showed up Sunday night at the Grand Ole Opry House to pay tribute to one of American music’s biggest icons, Loretta Lynn.
Thousands of fans lined up starting at 4 a.m., braving a rainy Nashville day for a lineup that didn’t disappoint. Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow, Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride, and Hoda Kotb all shared their memories, during a 90-minute celebration of life hosted by Jenna Bush.
Wynonna Judd kicked off the musical tributes with an unforgettable version of “How Great Thou Art,” backed by members of the Gaither Vocal Band and her stepfather Larry Strickland. Keith Urban pulled up a voicemail from Loretta herself before doing a banjo-fueled take on “You’re Looking at Country.” Tanya Tucker transformed herself into a “Blue Kentucky Girl,” before Darius Rucker took the crowd to “Fist City.”
Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, Kacey Musgraves, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, Marty Stuart, and Sissy Spacek all offered recorded remembrances.
George Strait made a rare appearance to do Loretta’s first #1, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’,” while Alan Jackson did the song he’d composed for his own mother’s funeral, the emotional “Where Her Heart Has Always Been.” Little Big Town covered Dolly’s Honky Tonk Angels contribution, “Let Her Fly,” from the album she and Loretta did with Tammy Wynette.
There was also Jack White’s “Van Lear Rose,” Margo Price‘s “The Pill,” and Brandi Carlile‘s take on Patsy Cline‘s “She’s Got You.” The Highwomen — with Brittany Spencer subbing for Maren Morris — closed with Lynn’s signature work, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Loretta passed away October 4 at the age of 90 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The tribute’s set to re-air Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on CMT.
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