Loretta Lynn Had Her First Child at 16

Country singer Loretta Lynn died on Oct. 4, 2022. Lynn married a talent manager named Oliver Lynn, and together they had six children. Lynn married her husband when she was only 15 years old, and she had her first child when she was 16 years old.

Loretta Lynn holds a microphone while wearing a black-and-blue shirt
Loretta Lynn | Erika Goldring/WireImage

Loretta Lynn married when she was 15 years old

For years, many speculated that Lynn married her husband when she was 13 years old. However, it has been reported that Lynn was actually 15 years old at the time.

When Lynn married her husband, he helped launch her career as he was a talent manager with connections to the music industry and radio.

However, Lynn’s marriage was widely known to be tumultuous, and Lynn did not shy away from sharing those details with the public.

According to People Magazine, in 2010 Lynn shared, “[We had] lots of ups and downs… He never hit me one time that I didn’t hit him back twice.”

People Magazine also reports that in Lynn’s 1976 memoir Coal Miner’s Daughter, the country singer referenced the age and maturity difference in her marriage.

“Sometimes my husband tells me, ‘I raised you the way I wanted you to be.’ And it’s true,” Lynn wrote in the memoir. “I went from Daddy to Doo, and there’s always been a man telling me what to do.”

Loretta Lynn had her first child when she was 16 years old

Shortly into her marriage, Lynn gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Betty Sue Lynn. Her daughter followed in her footsteps and became a well-known songwriter.

Betty Sue Lynn died in 2013, and Lynn frequently spoke of her first child on social media to keep her memory alive.

“She was first. It was Betty Sue who made me a momma. I was just 16 when she was born and three more weren’t too far behind her,” Lynn wrote on Instagram in July 2022.

Lynn’s post continued, “She was more than a daughter; she was a best friend. She’s been gone for nine years and it feels like I haven’t seen her or heard her voice in forever. How I’d love to sit down with her to talk a while, laugh, and sing together just one more time. Betty Sue was 63 when we lost her but that doesn’t matter to a momma. Young or old, no parent should ever have to bury a child.”

Related

How Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton Supported Loretta Lynn After a Tragedy on Her Ranch

The country singer had six children

By the time she was 20 years old, Lynn had four children. In total, Lynn gave birth to six children in her lifetime: Betty Sue Lynn, Jack Benny Lynn, Clara Marie Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn, Peggy Jean Lynn, and Patsy Eileen Lynn Russell.

Two of Lynn’s children died before her. Her son Jack Benny Lynn died in 1984, and Betty Sue Lynn died in 2013. Her husband Oliver Lynn died in 1996.

On Oct. 4, the singer’s family announced that Lynn died at the age of 90 years old.

“A statement from the family of Loretta Lynn. ‘Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,’” reads the statement on Twitter.