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Country music legend Loretta Lynn’s crazy life has been wowing fans since the singer released an autobiography and an accompanying movie entitled Coal Miner’s Daughter, but it turns out the specific details might be as dressed up as one of her songs.
The early specifics of Lynn’s life supposedly went like this: married at thirteen to a twenty-one-year-old, she had four children by the time she was eighteen and honed her love for music and performance skills by playing to her children while her husband was out. According to The Associated Press, the basic outline of that tale is correct, but the ages are a bit off. Lynn was apparently married to her twenty-one-year-old husband Doolittle when she was fifteen, which is still weird but not quite as stunning.
Evidence of the mix-up was discovered in the form of a birth certificate and a census record which both placed her birth a few years prior to what she’s publicly stated. Thus far, Lynn has refused to comment on the matter, but it seems like the evidence is pretty clear.
Had she shot to fame through her autobiography, one could legitimately question whether she ever would have been famous without that lie, but Lynn was actually very popular before the general public had even heard the tall tale about her early marriage. Many of her twenty-three number one singles had already been recorded. Coal Miner’s Daughter was just sort of the icing on the cake, the one detail even non-Country Music fans knew by heart.
This doesn’t really change my perception of Lynn, but in a way, I still wish we’d never found out. Some legends are better unquestioned.