Loretta Lynn’s Family Gives Update After Her Son Ernest Undergoes Unexpected, Life-Saving Surgery

“We would love to know you are praying with us for Ernie,” The Lynn Family wrote on Loretta Lynn’s social media.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 24, 2024


1:58 pm

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Loretta Lynn, Son Ernest Ray; Photo Courtesy of Loretta Lynn/Facebook

The family of late country icon Loretta Lynn took to Facebook on Tuesday (Jan. 23) to ask for support and prayers from fans as Lynn’s 69-year-old son Ernest Ray underwent a “critical surgery as a result of kidney failure.”

The remainder of the post read, “In moments like these, we are reminded that all that really matters is faith and family. We would love to know you are praying with us for Ernie. Thank you—The Lynn Family.”

Who Is Loretta Lynn’s Son Ernest?

Ray is the fourth of six children born to Lynn and her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn. He shared his mother’s passion for music and spent many years of his life joining her on the road, performing as an opener and playing in her band.

He is now a father to his own daughter Tayla Lynn, who was born to Ray and his first wife, Cindy Pelmons in 1975. Tayla has also continued to carry on her grandmother’s legacy as a singer/songwriter.

Ernest’s Wife Gave An Update On His Condition

While the Lynn family typically remains private regarding personal matters, they felt it was important to keep users updated about the current condition of Ray’s health. One day prior to the surgery, his wife and Tayla’s step-mother, Crystal, took to her personal Facebook account to share details surrounding his recent health battles.

She wrote, “not quite 2 weeks ago (as well as last fall) Ernie underwent an operation regarding his kidney failure & dialysis needs that didn’t yield good results, so he will be undergoing another operation today.”

“It is a life-saving and life sustaining operation, so we desperately need it to work this time so that they don’t have to take more drastic measures,” she continued. “So I ask of you all today to PLEASE pray for guidance for the doctors so that they may put this new device in a place that it works perfectly, as well as to pray for my husband and that he makes it through surgery with flying colors, that he heals quickly and completely, and that he finds good health and enjoyment out of life once again.”


Loretta Lynn’s son, Ernie, and his daughter, @Tayla Lynn, perform a cute duet to Loretta and Ernest Tubb’s classic duet “Sweet Thang,” which they released in 1967. We think Loretta and Ernest would love this duet!

♬ original sound – countryrebel

Tayla then responded to her stepmom’s heartfelt plea for prayers with words of gratitude, as she commended Crystal on the fact that she has taken “incredible” care of Ray.

“I’m talking day and night, and we appreciate that more than words can express. She is a helluva a nurse, and he’s a wild patient I gauran dang tee,” she joked. “None of us have said anything about Daddy’s health on socials, cause he will growl at us.”

In conclusion, she wrote, “Thank y’all for loving the whole family. Thank you for sending healing thoughts and strength.”

Update On Ernest’s Condition Following Life-Saving Surgery

Following Tuesday’s surgery, Crystal shared another update on social media, letting her followers know that Ray made it out of surgery. While she claims that everything “went well,” she also explained that they will not know if the surgery was successful until Thursday afternoon.

“We’re so grateful to you all for being God’s army and our prayer warriors. You’re AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So far so good. Let’s keep the positive momentum going,” she wrote in the latest update, shared Tuesday (Jan. 23). 

About The Late Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn, also known as the Queen of Country Music, passed away peacefully at the age of 90 years old at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee on the morning of October 4, 2022. 

Over the course of her 60-year career, she racked up an impressive 51 Top 10 hits and 16 No.1 hits, including  “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Fist City” and “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).” She has also sold over 45 million albums worldwide.

Photo Courtesy Loretta Lynn
Photo Courtesy Loretta Lynn

Awards Loretta Has Won

Additionally, Lynn has garnered many major awards and accolades including four GRAMMY Awards, seven American Music Awards and eight Country Music Association awards. She was the first woman to ever win the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards for Entertainer of the Year. 

Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1962, and was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

The “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” singer was predeceased by her husband of 48 years Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn, her daughter Betty Sue Lynn and son Jack Benny Lynn.

YouTube video

Does Loretta Lynn Have Other Kids?

She is survived by her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn and her son Ernest Ray Lynn as well as grandchildren Lori Lynn Smith, Ethan Lyell, Elizabeth Braun, Tayla Lynn, Jack Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn Jr., Katherine Condya, Alexandria Lynn, Jasyntha Connelly, Megan Horkins, Anthony Brutto, Jason Lynn, Wesley Lynn, Levi Lynn, Emmy Rose Russell, David Russell, Lucca Marchetti and step grandchildren David Greer, Jennafer Russell, Melody Russell and Natalie Rapp, and her great-grandchildren.

On Oct. 30, 2022, many of Lynn’s friends, family and fellow artists gathered together to perform at her public memorial service, Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration Of The Life & Music of Loretta Lynn. This memorable tribute event took place on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.