She was born in Butcher Hollow, a small community in Johnson County, Kentucky, and was married at age 13 to "Mooney" Lynn, with whom she had four children by the time she was 17. She has released 70 albums and had 17 number 1 albums and 27 number 1 singles. Her first single was Honky Tonk Girl which reached number 14 on the Billboard singles chart. She has made several albums with Conway Twitty. Her younger sister, Crystal Gayle, is a well-known country singer in her own right.
Loretta Lynn has also written two autobiographies, Coal Miner's Daughter and Still Woman Enough. The first was also made into a film starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta.
Lynn was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was named "Artist of the Decade" for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music.