Loretta Lynn found herself in really good company on Wednesday (Nov. 20) at the White House, where she was honored with the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. 

The President announced the 16 medal recipients in August, and it's quite the diverse list. In addition to the 'Coal Miners Daughter' hitmaker, former President Bill Clinton, talk show host and humanitarian Oprah Winfrey, baseball player Ernie Banks, female astronaut Sally Ride and several others were presented with the medal.

The honor is presented annually to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

At the ceremony, President Obama commended Lynn and the other recipients, saying, “I hope we carry away from this a reminder of what JFK understood to be the essence of the American spirit. Some of us may be less talented, but we all have the opportunity to serve and to open people’s hearts and minds in our smaller orbits. So I hope that everybody’s been inspired as I have been, participating in being with these people here today.”

Lynn certainly deserves this special accolade, as she's one of country music's first successful female vocalists, breaking barriers in an industry that was long dominated by men and thus, becoming a lasting icon in the industry.

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