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Carrie Underwood pays tribute to Loretta Lynn

Carrie Underwood has recalled how the late Loretta Lynn "smacked [her] on the rear end" the first time they met.
The 39-year-old singer has paid tribute to the country legend - who she collaborated with in 2021, along with Reba McEntire, on 'Still Woman Enough', the title track from Loretta's 50th studio album - following her death at the age of 90 on Tuesday (04.10.22), and remembered the country legend as a "cantankerous little pistol" who could also be "friendly and sweet".
She wrote on Instagram: "The first time I met Loretta Lynn was at the Grand Ole Opry at beginning of my career. I was chatting in the corner with another artist and someone walked behind me and smacked me on the rear end!
"I turned around and there she was…in a big sparkly dress…laughing as she continued to walk down the hall at what she had just done…
"This is one of my most favorite stories to tell. I think it sums up her personality pretty well. She was a cantankerous little pistol…friendly and sweet…never afraid to be herself and speak her mind. (sic)"
Carrie will always be grateful to have shared "special moments" in her career with Loretta.
She added: "Over the years, I have had the honor of singing for her…and also with her…in some of the most special moments of my career. She is irreplaceable. She will be incredibly missed…but her legacy lives on in those of us whom she has influenced.
"I am truly grateful to have known such an amazing woman and artist.
"Thank you, Loretta, for showing us how it's done. May you Rest In Peace in the arms of Jesus and add your heavenly voice to the angel choir. Love you!"
Reba also paid tribute to Loretta, comparing the 'Coal Miner's Daughter' singer to her own late mother, Jacqueline.
She said in a statement: "Mama and Loretta were four years apart, mama being the oldest.
"They always reminded me a lot of each other. Strong women, who loved their children and were fiercely loyal. Now they’re both in heaven getting to visit and talk about how they were raised, how different country music is now from what it was when they were young.
"Sure makes me feel good that mama went first so she could welcome Loretta into the hollers of heaven. I always did and I always will love Loretta. She was always so nice to me. I sure appreciate her paving the rough and rocky road for all us girl singers."
Sheryl Crow said "time stopped" when she heard the news of the star's passing.
Sharing a photo of them on stage together, she wrote on Instagram: "The news of Loretta Lynn's passing just came across my news feed and time stopped. There will never be another like her."
Martina McBride also shared a series of photos of herself with Loretta and admitted she was always "a little astonished" that the music icon thought of her as a friend.
She wrote: "It’s so hard to feel like you have the right words. I can hear Loretta saying 'just take your time honey.'
"We all loved her so much. There will never be another like her. I am so grateful that I got to know her, to spend time with her, laugh with her…..I was always a little astonished when she called me her friend.
"I know how much she missed Doo, her son and daughter, her mommy and daddy, Patsy, Tammy, Conway…she is back with them now. I can imagine her big beautiful smile and how happy her soul must be for that. She ended every phone call the same way…'I love you honey'. I love you too Loretta. I love you too."