Carrie Underwood recalled how the late Loretta Lynn “slammed [her] at the back” the first time they met.
The 39-year-old singer paid tribute to the country legend – with whom she collaborated in 2021, alongside Reba McEntire, on “Still Woman Enough”, the title track from Loretta’s 50th studio album – after his death at the age 90 on Tuesday (04.10.22), and remembered the country legend as a “cantankerous little gun” who could also be “friendly and sweet”.
She wrote on Instagram, “The first time I met Loretta Lynn was at the Grand Ole Opry early in my career. I was chatting in the corner with another artist and someone walked up behind me and m slapped on the behind!
“I turned around and there she was…in a big sparkly dress…laughing as she continued walking down the hall at what she had just done…
“It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. I think that pretty much sums up her personality. She was a cantankerous little gun…friendly and sweet…never afraid to be herself and say what she thinks. (sic)”
Carrie will always be grateful to have shared “special moments” in her career with Loretta.
She added: “Over the years I have had the honor of singing for her…and also with her…in some of the most special moments of my career. She is irreplaceable. She will be sorely missed…but her legacy lives on in those of us it has influenced.
“I am truly grateful to have known such an incredible woman and artist.
“Thank you, Loretta, for showing us how it’s done. May you rest in peace in the arms of Jesus and add your heavenly voice to the choir of angels. I love you!”
Reba also paid tribute to Loretta, comparing the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” singer to her own late mother, Jacqueline.
She said in a statement: “Mom and Loretta were four years apart, with mom being the oldest.
“They always reminded me a lot of each other. Strong women, who loved their children and were fiercely loyal. Now they are both in heaven to visit each other and talk about how they were raised, how different country music is from what it was when they were young.
“Of course it makes me feel good that mom is the first so she can welcome Loretta into the cries of heaven. I have always loved and always will love Loretta. She has always been so kind to me. We all singing girls.”
Sheryl Crow said “time stood still” when she heard the news of the star’s passing.
Sharing a photo of them on stage together, she wrote on Instagram: “News of Loretta Lynn’s passing just hit my newsfeed and time has stood still. There will never be another. like her.”
Martina McBride also shared a series of photos of herself with Loretta and admitted she was still “a little surprised” that the music icon considers her a friend.
She wrote: “It’s so hard to feel like you have the right words. I can hear Loretta saying ‘take your time honey’.
“We all loved her so much. There will never be another like her. I’m so grateful that I got to know her, to spend time with her, to laugh with her… I was always a little amazed when she called me her friend.
“I know how much she missed Doo, her son and daughter, her mom and dad, Patsy, Tammy, Conway…she’s back with them now. I can imagine her big beautiful smile and how much her soul must be happy for that. She ended every phone call the same… “I love you honey. I love you too Loretta. I love you too.”