‘I Just Loved Her And She Had Me Convinced That She Loved Me Right Back,’ Garth Brooks Says Of Loretta Lynn.(Exclusive)


Loretta Lynn, who died on Tuesday (Oct. 4) at the age of 90, was friends with Garth Brooks for more than two decades. He assisted in inducting the legend when she received her Kennedy Center Honor in 2003, and he was her date when she received a Grammy Salute to Country Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Brooks discusses what she meant to him both personally and professionally in this interview with Billboard.


The truth is what we believe it to be, but Loretta’s songs reflected her conviction in what she believed to be the truth. The strange thing was that Loretta also had a great sense of melody and groove. It wasn’t just the words.

What distinguishes fantastic artists from the other 99% of us is that their truths are identical to those of their listeners. Loretta Lynn’s thoughts on “The Pill,” as well as songs like “Fist City” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” were universal. Everyone was thinking them at the time; all they needed was someone to say it. Loretta Lynn was that someone.


She never stopped being herself. We were at the White House for a state dinner. Her daughters couldn’t keep her shoes on while she was receiving a Kennedy Center Honor. Miss Yearwood and I were there to honour her, so we’re all at the dinner table with Colin Powell.

This is an actual story. You can’t make this stuff up. This young man is delivering dinner, and she uses his tie as a doorbell. She simply reaches up, grabs his tie, and pulls him down, saying, “Son, what is that?” It was also a scone. It was just a plain biscuit. “You tell them people in the kitchen if they put some self-rising flour in that thing, it’ll pop right up,” she says, bringing this kid right up to her face level. She was amazing! She never, ever came across as uneducated. She always came across as genuine.


Being a part of presenting an award to another artist is one of the most prestigious honours you can receive in this business. She asked me to be her date [for the Grammy Salute to Country Music, where she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010]. She even asked Trisha if it was okay.

When the night was done, I loaded her into the truck. She handled [the evening] with grace, style, and elegance, while carrying me because she knew so much more about being spectacular than I ever will. It was possibly one of the most enjoyable nights of my life.

We’d send each other gifts over the years. I sent her a necklace that I mistook for her when she entered the Kennedy Center Honors. [One day,] I receive this incredible package in the mail. They’re her cowboy boots with a note on them. They’re stunning. If I had to show you everything cool I own, that would be the first thing I’d show you.

I’m not sure what it is. I can only tell you that there was a bond with that woman that I’m sure everyone who met her felt, and she made you feel special. I was completely smitten by her. And she had me convinced that she, too, loved me.

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