Loretta Lynn

Born to coal miners on April 13, 1934, in Butcher Hollow, Ky., Lynn sang for her local church until her marriage at the age of 13. She moved with her husband to Custer, Wash., and became the mother of four children before she began to sing with her brother's band in local clubs.

She and her husband worked hard at grassroots promotion to make her first single, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," a radio hit. The success of the single led her to Nashville, where she began to crank out hits, beginning with "Success" in 1962.

Lynn's honky-tonk hits were notable for their progressive female outlook, especially on songs like "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)" (1966), and "The Pill" (1974).

Her autobiography, "Coal Miner's Daughter" (RealAudio excerpt), was made into a movie starring Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar in 1981 for her portrayal of Lynn.

Lynn continued to perform frequently through the '80s and '90s, though she has released little new material in that time.