To close out 2015, Loretta Lynn will add another first to her 50-plus-year career. The country music icon will be the recipient of Billboard's first-ever Women in Music "Legend" award. The honor, which recognizes the Kentucky-born singer-songwriter for "historic contributions to the industry and artistry of American music," will be presented at the trade publication's 2015 Women in Music event on December 11th in New York City.
In addition, country newcomer Kelsea Ballerini will receive the "Rising Star" award at the event. The "Dibs" singer will also perform at the gala, which will air one week later, December 18th, on the Lifetime network.
The news comes just days after the announcement that on March 4th, 2016, the 83-year-old Lynn will release Full Circle, her first new studio album in a decade, co-produced by her daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, with John Carter Cash and featuring guest appearances from Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson.
To date, Lynn has scored 29 Top Ten albums on the Billboard charts, with 11 of them reaching Number One. In 2004, the Jack White-produced Van Lear Rose, peaked at Number Three on the multi-genre Billboard 200. Sixteen of Lynn's singles have hit the chart summit, including "Coal Miner's Daughter," which shares its title with the Oscar-winning 1980 biopic based on her 1976 autobiography.
Lady Gaga will be presented with the Woman of the Year honor at the Women in Music event, which is held in tandem with Billboard's Women in Music list, revealing the year's 50 most powerful female executives in the industry. Other honorees include Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, Fifth Harmony and Lana Del Rey.