“I think it’s dead,” Loretta Lynn declared of country music, speaking on an episode of Martina McBride’s podcast released Thursday.
“They’ve already let it [die],” said Lynn, according to People. “I think it’s dead. I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame to let a type of music die. I don’t care what any kind of music it is. Rock, country, whatever. I think it’s a shame to let it die, and I’m here to start feeding it.”
McBride reportedly observed that Lynn seemed “mad” about the devolution. “Yeah,” Lynn agreed. “I’m getting mad about it. I am. Because it’s ridiculous.”
“I’m not happy at all,” the 87-year-old country legend added. “I think that they’re completely losing it. And I think that’s a sad situation because we should never let country music die. I think that every type of music should be saved, and country is one of the greatest. It’s been around, as far as I’m concerned, longer than any of it.”
The state of country music is obviously the subject of undying debate among fans (and former fans). Born in 1932, just five years after the Bristol Sessions, Lynn, a Country Music Hall of Famer and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, has witnessed a dramatic evolution in the genre over the course of her nine decades.
Pop sounds have had a home in country music for years, but the rise of Bro Country in the 2010s seemed to put many people over the edge. While the recent success of artists like Chris Stapleton and the Highwomen have helped keep country broadly tethered to its roots, pop and hip-hop influences continue to dominate the charts.
Lynn’s 2018 release, “Wouldn’t It Be Great,” was a beautiful representation of country music, and glaring proof of her point that it’s a genre well-worth preserving. Even on the experimental record Lynn released with Jack White back in 2004, she managed, brilliantly, to stay true to her roots. Clearly, if anyone is qualified to adjudicate the state of the industry, it’s the Coal Miner’s Daughter herself. Let’s hope Nashville is listening.