It isn’t often one can be upstaged at their own award ceremony. But when Loretta Lynn steps on stage, you better believe it’s going to happen. And Alan Jackson didn’t mind one iota.
“You’re the only thing that’ve brought me here”
Emotions tend to run deep at the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony. (For fans that don’t know, the Medallion Ceremony is the induction of new members into the Hall of Fame). Last year, Randy Travis made one of his first public appearances since suffering a stroke in 2013. This year, 85-year-old Loretta Lynn followed in his footsteps.
Tradition dictates that new members choose which veteran Hall of Fame member they want to induct them. Alan Jackson invited Loretta Lynn to have the honors for him. Some weren’t sure if she’d be able, but she wasn’t about to miss the chance.
This is her first public appearance in Nashville since suffering the stroke. According to People, as she took the stage to a roaring ovation, she said these words: “This is the first time I’ve been out of the house, Alan. You’re the only thing that’ve brought me here.”
“I love you, honey.”
Assisted to the microphone by daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and fellow Hall of Fame artist George Strait, she described the first time she met Jackson.
“[H]e looked like a scared little boy. He was practicing backstage, going through his songs, and I remember I looked at him. I said, ‘You gonna be one of the greatest singers in country music.’ He hasn’t let me down.”
Then she added, “I love you, honey and I want to say congratulations, and I am so proud of you…You should be here!”
Jackson then kissed her on the cheek and she assisted him with putting on his medal.
He then began his speech, echoing her words: “Loretta Lynn said I should be here. That’s all I needed to hear.”
The ceremony ended with Jackson, Lynn, Strait, and Connie Smith on stage together, arms locked. Four Hall of Famers standing united. They closed according to tradition, singing the old hymn, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
Lynn’s voice was loud and clear.