Carrie Underwood Recalls First Meeting Loretta Lynn, She Slapped Her "Rear End"

Carrie Underwood on Loretta Lynn: "She was a cantankerous little pistol…friendly and sweet…never afraid to be herself and speak her mind."

With news of Loretta Lynn's passing on Tuesday, Carrie Underwood was moved to share her favorite memory of the Country Music Hall of Famer.

Underwood wrote the moment came backstage at the Grand Ole Opry early in her career.

"I was chatting in the corner with another artist, and someone walked behind me and smacked me on the rear end!" Underwood said. "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…"

Underwood said that is one of her favorite stories to share because she thinks it sums up Lynn's personality "pretty well."

"She was a cantankerous little pistol…friendly and sweet…never afraid to be herself and speak her mind," Underwood said, explaining she'd had the honor of singing both with and for Lynn, which made for some of the most memorable moments in her career.

"She is irreplaceable," Underwood explained. "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."

Underwood then thanked Lynn 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," she added. "Love you!"

Underwood collaborated with Lynn and Reba McEntire in 2021 on "Still Woman Enough," which is the title track of Lynn's 50th studio album.

She shared a bit about her experience working with the ladies on her social media accounts in 2021.

"When we were talking about doing this, and you hear the song title 'Still Woman Enough,' you know it's going to be something kinda sassy," Underwood said in an Instagram Reel. "It does kind of feel like… not just this 'female get together song.' We're lifting each other up, we're standing together, and I love moments like that – where we get to do things like that together."

Underwood also performed Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" in a medley for the ACM Awards that recognized 2020.

Lynn’s family confirmed her death in a statement to CMT.

"Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills," the statement said.

As a songwriter, Lynn crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce, and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.

Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and '70s, including "Coal Miner's Daughter," "You Ain't Woman Enough," "The Pill," "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)," "Rated X" and "You're Looking at Country."

In "Fist City," Lynn threatens a hair-pulling fistfight if another woman won't stay away from her man: "I'm here to tell you, gal, to lay off of my man/If you don't want to go to Fist City." That strong-willed but traditional country woman reappears in other Lynn songs. In "The Pill," a song about sex and birth control, Lynn writes about how she's sick of being trapped at home to take care of babies: "The feelin' good comes easy now/Since I've got the pill," she sang.

"It was what I wanted to hear and what I knew other women wanted to hear, too," Lynn told the AP in 2016. "I didn't write for the men; I wrote for us women. And the men loved it, too."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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