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44 Years Ago: Loretta Lynn Releases ‘Rated ‘X”

Loretta Lynn Rated X single
Decca Records

Forty-four years ago today, on Nov. 20, 1972, Loretta Lynn released her single “Rated ‘X’.” The song, which describes the double standard that divorced women seemed to face at the time, was from her 1973 album, Entertainer of the Year.

Entertainer of the Year was released after Lynn became the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards. “Rated ‘X'” was the only single released from the record, and also was the only song that Lynn wrote for the album; it became the Kentucky native’s sixth chart-topping tune.

With lines such, “Well, if you’ve been a married woman and things didn’t seem to work out / Divorce is the key to bein’ loose and free, so you’re gonna be talked about / Everybody knows that you’ve loved once, so they think you’ll love again / You can’t have a male friend / When you’re a has-been of a woman, you’re rated ‘X’,” the song was considered a bit controversial at the time. However, in the years since, “Rated ‘X'” has become a Lynn classic: The White Stripes recorded a version of the song in 2001, and in September of 2015, only two months after Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton announced their divorce, Lambert performed the song at the 2015 ACM Honors ceremony.

Lynn’s Entertainer of the Year album also landed at the top of the charts, despite the fact that “Rated ‘X'” was the only single on the project. Following its release, Lynn included “Rated ‘X'” on several of her compilation albums, including 1978’s All My Best, 1994’s Honky Tonk Girl: The Loretta Lynn Collection and All Time Greatest Hits in 2002; the song is available for download on iTunes.

Loretta Lynn Through the Years

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