NARAS Honors Loretta

Garth Brooks, George Flanigen, Loretta Lynn, and Neil Portnow on the red carpet. Photo: Alan Mayor

Loretta and Garth on the red carpet. Photo: Alan Mayor

Legendary Loretta Lynn was honored by the Recording Academy during a star-studded gala last night (10/12) at the Ryman Auditorium.

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) presented the Country Music Hall of Fame member with its President’s Merit Award. On January 31, Lynn was announced as a winner of the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Due to a family illness, she was unable to attend the Grammy Awards to accept, so that honor was also officially given to her on the Ryman stage.

“I really didn’t know this night was for me,” said Lynn, “but I’m sure proud. I don’t know what to say except thank you.”

Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow confirmed that during rehearsals, Lynn seemed unaware that the gala was dedicated to her and her songs. “Loretta Lynn said to me in her innocent way, ‘I guess this night’s all about me.’”

Jack White. Photo: Alan Mayor

Co-presenter Jack White said, “Nobody tells it like Loretta Lynn, right?”

Lynn was accompanied by Garth Brooks, who was also on stage for the presentations. The evening was hosted by Reba McEntire. She and Brooks also sang, as did Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock and Gretchen Wilson.

Loretta and Garth onstage at the Ryman. Photo: Alan Mayor


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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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