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UK AWARDS HONORARY DOCTORATE
TO COUNTRY MUSIC'S LORETTA LYNN

By Ralph Derickson


Herman Webb,
Loretta Lynn's brother, accepts an honorary doctorate on her behalf from James Holsinger, senior vice president of UK

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"Her own remarkable rise from the poverty of the Eastern Kentucky coal region became a subject for artistic expression."

-- James W. Holsinger Jr.,
senior vice president of UK and chancellor of the UK Chandler Medical Center

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March 9, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- With many of her fans including University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff looking on, country music star Loretta Lynn was awarded an honorary doctor of arts degree today. The awards ceremony was conducted in the Singletary Center for the Arts following an academic procession that included members of the UK board of trustees and many deans, faculty and staff members.

The audience included many persons who were in Lexington attending the 28th annual conference of the Society for American Music hosted by the UK School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. James W. Holsinger, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of UK and chancellor of the UK Chandler Medical Center, presented the honorary doctorate to Loretta Lynn. Mrs. Lynn, who was in Lexington but unable to attend because of illness, was represented by her brother, Herman Webb of Butcher Hollow, Ky.

Holsinger recited much of Lynn's storied musical career that included 75 charted hits, 53 top 10 country singles, and 16 number one country albums.

Noting her rural Kentucky upbringing, Holsinger called Loretta Lynn "a traveling ambassador for both the entertainment world and the state of Kentucky."

Holsinger mentioned many of her country music awards and noted, that the singer's tour bus, "as nice and as large as it is, would not hold the awards she accumulated."

Speaking of the extremely popular autobiographical song and movie about Loretta Lynn's life titled "Coal Miner's Daughter," Holsinger said, "Her own remarkable rise from the poverty of the Eastern Kentucky coal region became a subject for artistic expression."

Lynn was born April 14, 1935, in Butcher Hollow in Johnson County, which was featured in the film version of "Coal Miner's Daughter." She currently lives in Hurricane Hills, Tenn., about 65 miles from Nashville, and she recently released another country music album titled "Still Country."


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