A bronze statue of Loretta Lynn was unveiled outside Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 20.
Loretta’s statue joins two others—Bill Monroe and Little Jimmy Dickens—as part on the Ryman’s Icon Walk, which recognizes legends who have paved the way for Nashville performers. The statues of Bill Monroe and Little Jimmy Dickens were added in 2017 as part of the Ryman’s 125th anniversary. The statues, which were sculpted by artist Ben Watts, each took one year to create.
“I will never forget the morning Dolittle and I pulled in and parked in front of the Ryman Auditorium for the very first time,” said Loretta in a press release. “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.”
Visitors can find Loretta’s statue at the northwest corner of the building near the venue’s driveway on Fifth Avenue.
Loretta celebrated her 88th birthday in April. With more than 50 years of recording and touring to her name, she has become one of the most decorated artists of all time, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as receiving the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award, Kennedy Center Honors, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and more.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com