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Loretta Lynn: ‘Country Today Is Like Pop Music Was 40 Years Ago’

Loretta Lynn
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

At 80 years old, Loretta Lynn is one country music legend who has only continued to perfect her sound and her style throughout the years — and she’s still going strong. Although she admits that modern country music is more like the old school pop music she’s used to, she likes the recent sound, and she’s quick to tip her well-worn cowgirl hat to new artists.

“Country today is like pop music was 40 years ago, that’s the way I see it,” Lynn told Access Atlanta in a recent interview. “But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I like the polished sound of country, even though I’m as country as cornbread.”

Lynn is country through and through, but that didn’t stop her from making her most recent with rock and roll star Jack White in 2004 — nearly a decade ago. As accomplished in the recording studio as he is on the guitar, White produced Lynn’s award-winning ‘Van Lear Rose’ album.

The ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ icon, who just became a great-gradmother, admits she’s preparing her next move musically, but she does take time to notice country ‘newcomers,’ citing Carrie Underwood as someone she really admires.

“I think she is one of the best girl singers today,” Lynn said of the ‘Good Girl’ hitmaker. “She can sing anything.”

Right now, Lynn has no plans to team up with Underwood for an album — at least that she mentioned. She’s looking forward to collaborating with Merle Haggard, who is one of the artists on her bucket list of people she plans to record with before she retires — if she ever retires, that is.

“Me and Merle Haggard are going to do a record,” Lynn revealed. “He hasn’t lost one note of his voice. I want to record a song with him that he wrote, ‘Today I Started Loving You Again.’”

She added that she also loves Alan Jackson, and would like to record with him, too, at some point. Hilariously, Lynn shared that she would like to put down some music, but they’re too slow for her — even though they’re younger than she is.

“Me and my sisters were supposed to record together, but Crystal Gayle [her youngest sister] is so doggone slow! It takes her 10 years to walk across town. If they want to record with me, they know where I’m at,” Lynn said.

Any country singer who knows what’s good for them would jump at a chance to record with a name like Loretta Lynn, but the Queen of Country already has dozens of songs stockpiled for her upcoming albums with or without accomplices.

“Well, I’ve got 60-something things cut already. I’ve got a Christmas album, two religious albums. I’m gonna put ‘em out and get ‘em on the radio,” she spilled, adding that she’s still got things she wants to do before she’s done making music. “I want to have more hits. Giving up is for quitters! No one says anything anymore [in songs]. They need me out there.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

Next: Which Loretta Lynn Song Is One of the Best of All Time?

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