The Heartfelt Loretta Lynn Tribute

“There are a lot of talented women in this room tonight, but I think we can all agree — including myself — that none of us would be here if not for Loretta Lynn,” Miranda Lambert said as she was getting ready to introduce a tribute and then present the CMT Artist of a Lifetime honor to Loretta Lynn.

But as Lambert started to run the numbers on Lynn’s career, with hit songs, albums sold, and honors received, she admitted it wasn’t possible. “We don’t have time tonight to talk about her accomplishments and accolades,” she said. “She blazed a trail, and showed us all how it’s done.

“She showed us how to pursue our dreams and speak our minds.”

After that, Lynn’s impact on country music came through loud and clear when Martina McBride took the stage in a full, floor-length gown that looked like it came straight from Lynn’s wardrobe case, and belted out Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).”

Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley joined in next, singing Lynn’s famous duet with Conway Twitty, “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.”

Although Lynn couldn’t be there in person to accept her honor at the CMT Artists of the Year celebration on Wednesday night (Oct. 17), she must’ve felt the love in the room. Especially when Sissy Spacek accepted it on her behalf.

“I loved playing Loretta in Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Spacek said of her starring role in the 1980 film about Lynn’s life. “I just loved being her. I had the band, I had the bus, I had the clothes. But I think we can all agree, there’s only one Loretta Lynn.

“She’s so sorry she couldn’t be here tonight. She’s a little under the weather. I saw her earlier today, and she was so excited about this award. And she said, ‘What are you gonna wear tonight, Sissy?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know yet, Loretta.’ And she said, ‘Well, do you wanna wear one of my gowns?’\

“That’s the kind of girlfriend she is.”

Through her tears, Spacek described the bond that the two women have shared since that movie was made. “From the moment we met, she’s been my cheerleader, my sister, my best friend. And it’s still like that almost 40 years later. It’s my honor to accept her award. Well done, Loretta. Well done.

“I think Loretta said it best,” she added, “‘It’s about dad-gum time we recognize women.'"

By: Alison Bonaguro on cmt.com

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