Country pioneer Loretta Lynn and her movie doppelgänger Sissy Spacek will reunite in Nashville next month when the actress presents Lynn with an “Artist of a Lifetime” award for the annual “CMT Artists of the Year” telecast. The Oct. 17 show is being devoted exclusively to female artists — present and, as it turns out, past.
Lynn’s honor adds a historical component to a CMT broadcast already set to offer contemporary kudos to Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, and Little Big Town singers Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman.
Lynn is shortly set to release her 41st studio album, and her third for Sony Legacy, “Wouldn’t It Be Great,” on Sept. 28. The album is divided between fresh songs and rootsy re-recordings of vintage tracks like “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” “Wouldn’t It Be Great” had originally been set for release in the spring of last year, but was pushed back to this fall to allow Lynn time to recover from a May 2017 stroke before promoting it.
“I’m always so proud when I receive any awards for my music,” Lynn said in a statement, “but when I heard it was this year’s ‘Artist of a Lifetime award it made me really happy. It’s an honor to be able to make music that people enjoy and I’m really excited to have a new album coming out. Thank you CMT for acknowledging me with this award and for honoring the women in country music at Artists of the Year.”
Lynn hasn’t lacked for accolades this past decade, having picked up the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting in 2014 and the Academy of Country Music’s Crystal Milestone Award in 2015.
Duets are a feature of the annual awards show, so it’s likely that CMT will at least try to pair Lynn with one of the other featured women on the show, like Spacek, who’ll present her with the award, and who played Lynn in the 1980 biopic “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Some of the featured younger artists on the show have their own history with Lynn or her material, too. Lambert sang the song “Coal Miner’s Daughter” with Lynn on a tribute album of that name in 2010. That same album had Underwood doing a solo version of “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” another one of the many hits that Lynn wrote herself, without ever entering a Nashville writers’ room.