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Loretta Lynn to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Loretta Lynn
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

What do Loretta Lynn, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey have in common? They are among sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

On Friday (Aug. 9), President Barack Obama named sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Lynn, who was raised in rural Kentucky, will receive the honor because she is truly a country music legend. Ever since the 1960s, when she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists, the songstress has been courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men. Plus, the ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ hitmaker has received numerous accolades, which include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

President Obama added his words of support for the recipients, saying, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”

Along with Lynn, Clinton and Winfrey, there’s a wide array of honorees. Included in this special mix are Ernie Banks (one of the greatest baseball players of all time), Daniel Kahneman (a pioneering scholar of psychology) and Sally Ride (the first American female astronaut to travel to space), among many other extremely talented and impactful recipients.

This good news came at the right time for Lynn, who recently lost her oldest daughter. Hopefully, in the midst of her grief, she’ll find great privilege in all of the lives she continues to change for the better.

The awards will be presented at the White House later this year.

Next: The Top 10 Loretta Lynn Songs of All Time

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