Loretta Lynn: The True Story Behind How She Amassed Her Multi-Million Dollar Fortune

by Clayton Edwards

As country music fans, we know that Loretta Lynn is priceless. The Coal Miner’s Daughter has had such a huge impact on the world that it’s impossible to imagine country without her. At the same time, she has stacked up a pretty impressive net worth. Current estimates put her fortune at around $65 million. That’s a far cry from her humble Butcher Holler beginnings. How did she amass that fortune? Well, the short answer is that it came with being an absolute certified country legend. The long answer is a bit more interesting, though.

In the Beginning, There Was Honky Tonk

After singing with local bands and around the house, Loretta Lynn recorded her first single. “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” came out in 1960. She and her husband Doo promoted it by sending it to radio stations. They went on a small regional tour. The song peaked at number 14 on the Billboard country chart. That’s nothing to sneeze at, especially because she wrote and recorded the song herself. A woman writing, recording, and charting songs was nearly unheard of at the time. In fact, she was the first woman to write and record a number-one hit. That would come later though. This was the start of not only her career but also residual income from her music.

Loretta Lynn went on to release a handful of albums and chart a few songs in the top-20 and top-10. Though she is known for being a prolific songwriter, most of her early charting singles were written by other people. Then she hit number four on the country chart with “Dear Uncle Sam,” which she wrote and recorded. Next came the number-two hit “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)”

Her first number-one hit was “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).” She didn’t write it but she made the song famous. It’s one of her signature songs. The song helped to push the album of the same name to number one on the country album chart as well as a gold certification from the RIAA.

However, her first solo-written number-one hit was “Fist City.” The songs that she wrote, recorded, and owned were the biggest earners.

This was all in the first few years of her career. These songs are still making her money today.

Loretta Lynn: The Coal Miner’s Daughter

They made a movie about Loretta Lynn’s life in 1980. The film, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was based on her autobiography of the same name, grossed $67 million against a $15 million budget according to Hollywood Reporter. Sissy Spacek took home an Oscar for the lead role. It was a huge hit.

Around the same time, Loretta Lynn was the face of Crisco, according to Classic Country Music. To say that she was a household name would be an understatement. All of this notoriety drove people to buy her albums. This, along with residuals from the commercials and the film, added more and more to Lynn’s quickly growing bank account.

She Owns a Small Town in Tennessee

Loretta Lynn owns an entire town in Tennessee. When she bought her sprawling (and haunted) estate in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee she didn’t realize that the entire town came with it. Now, it’s little more than a spot in the road but Lynn makes it work for her. She lived in the enormous plantation home for years. Then, she turned it into a museum. Fans from all around the world come to see the artifacts of the country icon’s life. Every ticket adds a couple more dollars to the Coal Miner’s Daughter’s coffers.

These fans are drawn in by Loretta Lynn’s expansive discography and library of hit singles. Not counting her live albums, compilations, and a string of duet albums with Conway Twitty, Lynn has 49 albums. Her 50th album will drop on March 19th.

At this point, just about everything Loretta Lynn does puts a little more money in her pocket. So, it’s no surprise that she is a multi-millionaire.