Alive and kicking | 

Loretta Lynn is feisty and full of fun....and not on her death bed

Loretta Lynn

Daniel O'Donnell

FROM time to time, people ask me about American country music legend Loretta Lynn, and how her health is these days.

I'm glad to say that Loretta is doing well and sounding good.

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I had the pleasure of a quick chat with her by phone just before Christmas when we learned about the passing of our dear friend Charley Pride.

Loretta, like the rest of us, was very upset that Charley had died after contracting Covid-19.

When Majella and I first heard news about Charley dying, we thought for a moment that maybe it might be a hoax as we didn't know he'd been ill. There are often rumours about famous people dying.

Just last year, there were false reports that Loretta was on her death bed, and that Willie Nelson was also at death's door.

Showing that she's as feisty as ever, Loretta at that time put up a little video on Facebook declaring that she was very much alive and kicking.

Reading a story on a tablet she said: "Hey, this says I'm in a nursing home and I'm on my death bed. You're kidding me! I ain't dead and neither is Willie. Both of us are comin' back to life and we're gonna raise hell."

Loretta added: 'Well, through the years they've said I'm broke, homeless, cheating, drinking, gone crazy, terminally ill, and even dead! Poor things can't ever get it right.

"I guess if those old pesky tabloids are harassing me then they're giving someone else a break......but I'm about an inch from taking 'em to Fist City!"

Loretta really has a great sense of humour, as does Willie Nelson. I remember reading his response one time when a journalist asked him, "How does it feel being a living legend?"

Willie's reply was: "Well, it's the 'living' bit I like."

Loretta, of course, has suffered ill health in recent years. She had a stroke in May 2017, and she fell and broke her hip eight months later.

But Loretta, who will be 89 next April, has great spirit and determination. Rather than throwing in the towel, she refused to feel sorry for herself and battled through.

Loretta admitted in an interview in America that her memory has been getting "fuzzy", but she says that releasing new music gives her renewed energy.

She has no intention of retiring and plans to keep on going "until I'm six feet under."

As a fan, I feel very lucky to have developed a friendship with her through the decades.

She was a special guest on one of my first TV shows back in the 1980s. Then, of course, Loretta did me the huge honour of travelling all the way from America to be my surprise belle at our festival in Kincasslagh in 1997. That is a night I will never, ever forget.

Loretta really is a living legend. And I'm sure, just like Willie, it's the living bit she likes.

Long may she be with us.

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