Cash, the son of country legends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, remembered the "Coal Miner's Daughter" singer in a poignant statement shared with PEOPLE, in which he detailed the ways in which she helped comfort him after the loss of his mother in 2003.
"When my mother died, Loretta was there for me, her laughter made being around her easy, and she filled a gap that I believed I had healed," he wrote. "She came into my life, and I learned how to enjoy creativity in a way I couldn't have before conceived. She helped me believe in good music—and in the good of music."
Cash, 52, also praised Lynn's authenticity, which remained intact until her death on Tuesday at 90 years old.
"Loretta was true. She was of a time in American music when songs meant something different than now," he said. "She was able to take a straightforward vision and perception of life and put it into words. There was nothing puffed up or fake about Loretta. She was built of powerful stuff—essentially, she was made of love. Anyone that knew her saw that she loved them unconditionally, naturally, and kindly."
Beth Gwinn/WireImage John Carter Cash and Loretta Lynn
Cash and Lynn had forged a fruitful musical bond in recent years, and he had co-produced all of her albums since 2016 with her daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell. Together, the trio had reportedly crafted more than 100 songs, and their final album, Still Woman Enough, was released in March 2021.
Cash acknowledged that while Lynn amassed plenty of titles throughout her prolific career (including "the Queen of Country Music" and "The Last of Her Kind"), she was also, put simply, "love personified."
"She helped me believe in family and showed me that no matter who I was, or where I came from, we are all the same. In truth, she reminded me of this, as these were essential life truths my mother and father taught me years prior," he said. "I will miss her, but I will carry her in my heart until the day I die."
Terry Wyatt/Getty Loretta Lynn
He continued: "If I can but relate an iota of what truth she taught me, I know it will grow like a seed of faith. I believe it will be enough. I love you, Loretta Lynn, and though the world may sing of you, try to sing like you and be like you for ages to come, no one will ever get close."
Lynn was a longtime fan of the Carter-Cash family, and recorded much of her recent music at the famous Johnny Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She told the Associated Press in 2016 that their records were the first she'd ever listened to.
"The Carter Family was the first songs I ever heard," she said. "I was just 2 or 3 years old, maybe a little older. But I remember climbing up on Daddy's leg and Daddy was playing the old Victrola and playing Carter Family records."
John Carter Cash was a fan of Lynn's too, and he and his wife Ana Cristina Cash sang "Keep on the Sunny Side" at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena as part of Lynn's birthday celebrations in 2019.