In a video posted to Instagram, White — who worked with Lynn on the 2004 album Van Lear Rose — called the artist “the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century.” “I learned so much from her working on this album Van Lear Rose together, and there were times where I just had to sort of step outside and take a pause because she was so brilliant I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and hearing and I almost felt like she didn’t even realize it,” he said.
“What she did for feminism, women’s rights, in a time period and a genre of music that was the hardest to do it in, was just outstanding and will live on for a long time, and she broke down a lot of barriers for people that came after her,” White added. “She was like a mother figure to me and also a very good friend at times, and told me some amazing things that I’ll never tell anybody.” Watch his full tribute below.
Lynn died in her sleep at home, according to her family. With songs like “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and “The Pill,” the artist sang from a distinctly female perspective about sex and women’s autonomy at a time when both topics were considered taboo. Her autobiography Coal Miner’s Daughter was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film, and while country radio stations refused to play some of her more risqué music in the 1970s, Lynn went on to become the most awarded female country recording artist.