Loretta Lynn, Famed Country Music Star and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, Dies at 90
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Loretta Lynn was a legendary country singer and songwriter who became a symbol of rural resilience with her powerful voice and inspiring life story. She influenced scores of musicians as one of the most beloved performers of her generation, and also influenced thousands of motocross athletes, hosting the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch since 1982. Lynn passed away on October 4. She was 90.
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame offers its heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Lynn and celebrates her contribution to motocross and the motorcycling community. She was a role model to many in both the music and motorcycling worlds.
“There’s no doubt Loretta Lynn was a towering figure in both music and motocross,” said AMA Editorial Director Mitch Boehm. “We, as an organization, can’t put into words the importance and impact she had on our sport and how she inspired generations of riders.”
Lynn was born on April 14, 1932, in Butcher Hollow, Ky. She carved out her story in the rugged Kentucky coal country, and her autobiography, A Coal Miner’s Daughter, was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie. Finding her stride in the music industry to the tune of four Grammy Awards and 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, Lynn has sold more than 45 million records worldwide. Writing more than 160 songs, Lynn tallied 24 No. 1 singles and 11 No. 1 albums on the country charts. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.
Since 1982, Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., has welcomed approximately 60,000 riders. Hosting an average of 36 classes vying for AMA National No. 1 plates each year, the annual event is the site of the largest amateur motocross event in the world.
Displaying her country hospitality, Lynn frequently attended the event each year, and made herself available to those who visited.
With the continued support of Loretta and the Lynn family, motorcyclists have been making the pilgrimage to the ranch for four decades, making it a staple of the amateur motocross season. Unfortunately, in 2021, the ranch was devastated by flooding, suffering more than $1 million in property damage, and killing one. The ranch has since been rehabilitated with significant support from the motocross community.
Although the young riders that visit her ranch each year did not grow up during the peak of her singing career, Loretta Lynn’s name and voice resonate with everyone who visits.
With her song “Coal Miner’s Daughter” ringing out through the ranch’s PA system at 7 a.m. every day, Lynn has contributed to the growth of motocross by hosting the weeklong event where amateur motocross athletes aim to launch their professional careers and claim a spot on the podium. Since the race’s inception, nearly every AMA Pro Supercross and Motocross champion — including Hall of Famers Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael — has navigated the ranch’s track.
The ranch also hosts AMA Grand National Cross-Country events along with the annual amateur motocross competitions.
Lynn was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2021.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. Besides offering members money-saving discounts on products and services, the AMA also publishes American Motorcyclist, a recently revitalized and monthly full-color magazine (and digital version of same) that covers current events and motorcycle history with brilliant photography and compelling writing. American Motorcyclist is also North America’s largest-circulation magazine. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com.
Not a member? Join the AMA today: americanmotorcyclist.com.
More, from a press release issued by MX Sports:
American Motocross Community Mourns the Passing of Loretta Lynn (1932-2022)
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (October 5, 2022) — The American motocross community is in mourning following the passing of one the sport’s most influential figures, country music icon Loretta Lynn (1932-2022). The namesake of the world’s single-largest motocross event, the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship which is more commonly and affectionately known as “Loretta Lynn’s,” passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 90 on Tuesday morning at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
One of country music’s most prolific figures, the legendary “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was also a giant within the motocross racing community, welcoming thousands of amateur racers, their families, friends, and the industry as a whole to Loretta Lynn Ranch each and every August. For the past 41 years, the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship has served as the proving ground for aspiring motocross talent, with a who’s who list of racers who have made the journey to Middle Tennessee for motocross’ version of summer vacation over the past four decades in search of success. Countless stars have been born at the ranch over the years and Loretta herself has remained a cornerstone figure of the event, which has become an integral part of the family business, spanning multiple generations. In recognition of her contribution to the sport, Lynn was inducted into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2021.
“Ever since 1982 Loretta Lynn and her family have opened their arms and their ranch to countless motocross families,” said Rita Coombs, matriarch of MX Sports. “Her name may be synonymous with country music, but she was also incredibly popular with generations of motocrossers who have visited her ranch in Hurricane Mills to compete in the annual AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships. She was always a gracious host and she will be sorely missed by our entire sport.”
The legacy of this prestigious event is a byproduct of happenstance, when MX Sports patriarch Dave Coombs Sr. took his family on a road trip in the summer of 1981 to camp at the ranch. A morning jog by Coombs around the property proved to be a moment of inspiration and realization, one that forever changed the course of American motocross and served as the foundation for the country star’s ascension into becoming the standard bearer for the sport. “Big Dave’s” charisma led to a fateful meeting with Mooney Lynn and Loretta herself and he sold them on the idea. One year later, in 1982, the inaugural AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship descended on Hurricane Mills. The rest, as they say, is history, and without Loretta Lynn, the sport of motocross in the United States wouldn’t be what it is today.
Godspeed, Loretta. You’ll be missed, but the racing will live on in your memory.
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, visit the series official website at www.MXSports.com or call (304) 284-0101. Join the conversation on the event’s social media channels, along with receiving the most up-to-date news and exclusive content.
About the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
The Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is the world’s largest and most prestigious amateur motocross racing program. The national qualifying program will consist of 51 Area Qualifiers (February through May) and 18 Regional Championships (May through June), hosted at select motocross facilities across the country. The qualifying system culminates in the National Final (first week in August) hosted annually since 1982 at the home of country music star Loretta Lynn in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Christened “The World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation”, the National event serves as a launch pad for some of the biggest names in professional motocross and supercross, including Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, and Ryan Dungey. The national program is produced by MX Sports, Inc., a West Virginia-based race production company and is sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). For more information, visit www.mxsports.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.