HomeEntertainmentMusicOn This Day: Loretta Lynn Becomes First Woman to Win CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year in 1972

On This Day: Loretta Lynn Becomes First Woman to Win CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year in 1972

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

When Loretta Lynn tragically passed away on October 3rd, she left a hole in the heart of country music. Throughout her decades-long career, Lynn blazed a trail for other women of country.

She was fearlessly outspoken in her songwriting. Classics like “The Pill” or “Rated X” proved that she was willing to go where most wouldn’t. Additionally, true-life tales like her first chart-topper “Don’t Come Homa A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Yout Mind)” or “Fist City” showed a different side of marriage and infidelity. Then, there was the friendship and wisdom that Loretta shared with the younger ladies cutting their teeth in the genre.

It would be easy to go on and on about the badassery of Loretta Lynn. However, one of the best ways to sum up her greatness is the fact that Dolly Parton – an icon in her own right – looked up to Lynn. Dolly once said that she gets offended when people call her the Queen of Country Music because that honor belongs to Loretta or Kitty Wells.

Fifty years ago today, Loretta Lynn made history while also kicking open a very important door for women in country music.

The Coal Miner’s Daughter Makes History

On this day in 1972, Loretta Lynn put another notch in her trailblazing belt. She was the first woman to win the coveted Entertainer of the Year award at the CMA Awards. It would mark the first and only time the country icon took home the coveted award. However, Lynn would snag the Entertainer of the Year Award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1975.

Leading up to the event, Loretta Lynn already had a strong career. She had already landed 25 top-10 singles including 2 chart-toppers as a solo artist. Additionally, she and Conway Twitty had two songs at the top of the charts. Not long before the awards show, Lynn released her 18th solo album Here I Am Again.

More About Loretta Lynn’s Historic CMA Win

Loretta Lynn had some stiff competition at the CMAs that night. She was up against Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Freddie Hart, and Jerry Reed. The competition that night just highlights how much Loretta deserved the accolade

Lynn didn’t give a long speech after accepting the award, according to The Boot. During that short speech, she said, “I’d like to say that I’ve won a lot of awards, and this is one that I have been nominated for but never did get.” In fact, the CMA nominated her for the award every year between 1971 and 1975.

It was a huge win for her and other women who came after her. However, it was a bittersweet night for Loretta Lynn. She said, “I’m real happy, but the only thing that I’m kind of sad about is my husband going hunting. He couldn’t make it back in time to share my happiness with me.”

It would be six years before another woman took home the Entertainer of the Year Award. That woman was, unsurprisingly, Dolly Parton.