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Tanya Tucker Joins Star-Studded Tribute To Loretta Lynn

Late and great, indeed.

Tanya Tucker was part of a touching megawatt tribute to the late and legendary Loretta Lynn, who passed away on October 4. Coal Miner's Daughter: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn was held October 30 at Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry, and featured country stars including Tucker, Wynonna Judd, Larry Strickland, and Alan Jackson.

A Strong Start

The elegant service began with a plaintive How Great Thou Art, sung by Judd, Strickland, and the Gaither Trio. It was then followed by Jackson's rendition of Where Her Heart Has Always Been, which he originally wrote after the death of his mother.

The rest of the program's songs were ones made famous by Lynn herself, often because they drew attention to controversial topics upon their initial release. These included You’re Lookin’ At Country, as performed by Keith Urban; Fist City, as performed by Darius Rucker; and Blue Kentucky Girl, performed by Tucker.

And Then, The Videos

Then, Taylor Swift, whose famously confessional lyrics resemble Lynn's, joined the ceremony via video to praise the late star's unfiltered honesty. An emotional Faith Hill also joined via video call to say, "She didn’t just push boundaries, she shredded them."

Other stars who weighed in remotely were Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Kacey Musgraves, the latter of whom admitted to covering Fist City when she was only nine years old.

Courting That Controversy

In another bit of gender-bending after Darius Rucker's Fist City, George Strait brought the house down with his take on Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind).

Additionally, as another nod to Lynn's controversial persona, Margo Price delivered her take on The Pill, which was initially banned by radio stations when it debuted in 1975. In fact, the Grand Ole Opry had once tried to prevent Lynn from singing it within their hallowed walls.

Then It All Came Together

Perhaps the emotional peak of the night occurred when Lynn's granddaughter, Emmy Russel, stepped on stage to sing, "Lay Me Down," a track about rebirth and death that Lynn recorded with Lukas Nelson in 2016. According to Russel, it was the first time she had performed on a stage without Lynn watching.

As for the important task of performing Lynn's most famous single, "Coal Miner's Daughter," that unenviable responsibility went to Amanda Shires, Natali Hemby, Brandi Carlile, and Brittney Spencer. The resonant and moving take was a very appropriate way to end the ceremony.

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