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Loretta Lynn Through the Years [PICTURES]

Loretta Lynn first entered the world of country music in 1960 with the release of her debut single, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.” Fifty-plus years later, the singer is still going strong, releasing new music and continuing to perform for her fans.

Country fans have been watching the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for the last six decades, from her first record deal with Decca and her invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 to the release of her collaborations with Conway Twitty, Jack White, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, among others. With nearly 50 studio albums and 80 singles to her name (and that’s just as a solo artist!), Lynn has earned herself a case full of honors — and is the most-awarded female artist in country music history.

But perhaps more important than her music is how Lynn helped open doors for many of today’s female artists, proving that women in the country music industry could use the platform to voice their own opinions. Today, upwards of 80, Lynn is also setting an example for singers of any gender and genre, proving that they can continue to be relevant as they age.

Flip through the photo gallery above for visual walk through Lynn’s storied career (so far).

NEXT: Top 10 Loretta Lynn Songs

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