On This Day: Loretta Lynn Releases ‘Entertainer of the Year’ Album in 1973

by Atlanta Northcutt

In today’s pop-culture, some female “celebrities” are famous for simply being famous. But let’s pay homage to while remembering a truly groundbreaking female country star. By using her fame, the legend shows the world that women can be just as successful as men in the music industry. Thank you, Loretta Lynn.

Lynn’s beauty, poise, grace, humility, and unbelievable talent as a singer led her to be able to reach such high celebrity status. While earning her the title of being the first female artist to win Entertainer of the Year at the 1972 CMA Awards.

The Legendary Loretta Lynn

1972 and 1973 are big years for the country queen. On Oct. 16, 1972, Lynn became the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards. The prestigious award comes after her 18th studio album Here I Am Again. The star had already succeeded at creating 25 Top 10 songs. These well-known tunes include the famous “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” with both gaining substantial success.

At the time it was very surprising that Lynn beat country greats like Merle Haggard and Charley Pride. Six years after Loretta takes home the award, Dolly Parton becomes the second woman who wins the Entertainer of the Year trophy in 1978.

The First Woman to Become CMA Entertainer of the Year

Previous to this major success, she received Female Vocalist of the Year, which was, of course, in the category only for women. Lynn is the winner of eight overall CMA Awards. However, the 1972 win gave the singer that year’s highest position. From 1971 to 1975, she continues to receive nominations for the honorable award each year.

“I’d like to say that I’ve won a lot of awards, and this is one that I have been nominated for, but I never did get. And this, I think, is the only one that I haven’t gotten,” Lynn says in her first awards speech. “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 to share my happiness with me. Thank you.”

One year after her win, Lynn took that achievement and gratitude to create her hit album entitled Entertainer of the Year – Loretta. She used the album to push the boundaries against the still male-controlled music industry. Lynn had a voice and a platform to use it, and that’s exactly what she did. With brave honesty, Loretta uses her music to rebel against the still-biased views of what’s acceptable behavior and how or what women should be for their husbands, sons, and all the men in their lives.

Lynn Lends Her Voice and Talents to Inspire Women

She brought it home with an unsubtle song, “Rated ‘X.’” It was controversial at the time about moving forward after a divorce. Not surprisingly, divorce was highly frowned upon. This is especially true in the southern region of the US where country music thrives most.

Lynn fearlessly spoke out against the double standard between men and women in all aspects of life. She uses the song to ask an important question about the negative stigma against women who divorce their husbands in comparison of how ex-husbands are not berated or looked down upon. She finds no justice in the behavior.

Obviously many other people agree with her and support the song “Rated ‘X’” all the way to the top of the charts. Not only does Lynn win with the song gaining such popularity. The expression of her truth and the support of listeners is a major win for the music legend. She feels honored and proud that she had used her platform in country music to encourage women to use their voices and fight for their rights.

Looking Up to Legends & Letting Go of Current Pop “Stars”

When it comes to many of today’s female stars, the sex appeal of their TV and online personas attracts millions of fans across the globe. However, young girls are looking up to these individuals as role models. For example, Kim Kardashian and the rest of her family have made a career and an egregious amount of money just by being reality stars.

Paris Hilton was previously viewed as an idol with girls repeating her catchphrase, “that’s hot.” What did she do to gain this notoriety? Similar to Kim Kardashian, explicit videos were leaked and interests were peaked by the wealthy, sensationalized, and drama-filled lives of these women.

Before this unbelievably sad trend began, girls were looking up to fiercely talented and strong women, one of which is the amazing Loretta Lynn, a country legend and activist, in her own right. She earned her fame by being the exact opposite of what most female idols represent today. Lynn was a voice for women by proving you can do anything you set your mind to by working hard and having faith.