A Loretta Lynn statue has been added to the Icon Walk on the grounds of the Ryman Auditorium. Visitors can find the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” statue standing at the northwest corner of the building near the venue’s driveway on Fifth Avenue next to the likeness of Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music.
The detailed bronze likeness of Lynn, which took a year to craft, was added to the permanent outdoor exhibition on the venue’s grounds, and joins likenesses of beloved legends Little Jimmy Dickens and Monroe. The Ryman team collaborated once again with artist Ben Watts, the talent behind the Dickens and Monroe statues, for the tribute to Lynn.
Lynn, who was unable to attend the unveiling, shared a statement: “I will never forget the morning Dolittle and I pulled in and parked in front of the Ryman Auditorium for the very first time. It was 1960 and I had a No. 14 record on the charts called ‘I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.’ My dream, like thousands of other singers, was just to sing on the Grand Ole Opry. Being a member of the Grand Ole Opry has been one of the greatest honors of my life. For many years I’ve stood on the stage of the Ryman and there’s no place like it. Now they’re unveiling this statue in my honor. It’s like I’m going to get to be there for many more years to come. It means so much to have the statue and to be a part of all of these wonderful artists. One day soon I’m gonna get to come up there and see it for myself. But for today I want to say thank you and I love each and every one of you for thinking of me.”
“I don’t think it’s possible to tell the history of the Opry or Ryman without Loretta,” Colin Reed, Chairman & CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, said. “She is a trailblazer who has remained one of the most beloved entertainers to ever set foot on that stage.”
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