Jack White has shared a poignant tribute to country great Loretta Lynn.
The guitarist often cited the country legend as an influence, with the Coalminer’s Daughter casting a shadow over his own work. As it happens, Jack White was given the chance to live out a dream, producing her exceptional 2004 album ‘Van Lear Rose’.
Loretta Lynn continued to work right until the day, and news of her passing broke yesterday (October 4th) – she was 90 years old.
In a poignant video statement, Jack White saluted his self-described “mother figure” saying: “When I was first asked about her what I thought and I said years ago that I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. I still believe that.”
Read and watch his statement below:
What a sad day today is. We lost one of the greats, Loretta Lynn. I said when I was first asked about her what I thought and I said years ago that I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. I still believe that. Loretta used to say to make it in the business, you had to either be great, different, or first, and she thought that she was just different and that’s how she made it, but I think she was all three of those things and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up too.
She was such an incredible presence and such a brilliant genius in ways that I think only people who got to work with her might know about. What she did for feminism, women’s rights in a time period, in a genre of music that was the hardest to do it in, is just outstanding and will live on for a long time. She broke down a lot of barriers for people that came after her.
I learned so much from her working together on this album Van Lear Rose and there was times where I just had to take a pause and step outside because she was just so brilliant, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and hearing. I almost felt like she didn’t even realise it, you know. But she was just a genius and just brilliant at what she did and we were lucky to have her and people can learn from example the rags to riches part of it and the beautiful natural voice part of it. She was like a mother figure to me and also a very good friend at times. She told me some amazing things that I’ll never tell anybody. Rest in peace Loretta. God bless you.