The country-pop legend opens up in this week's issue of PEOPLE about her signature long mane, her relationship with sister Loretta Lynn and life now

Advertisement
crystal gayle
Crystal Gayle

Say the name Crystal Gayle and her long brown mane instantly comes to mind.

While her hair has become her signature over the past five decades, the country-pop icon, 70, reveals in this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, that there's been times when she's considered cutting it all off.

"There's been days where I just want to take the scissors," Gayle says. "When my children were younger, they'd say, 'Mom, you won't be Crystal Gayle when you cut your hair.' So they've been waiting for that moment."

For now, the mother of two won't be changing a thing; she's working on new music and hopes to perform live in the fall.

"Being in the music business is not easy," Gayle says, "but if you really love it, then it's all worth it."

crystal gayle and loretta lynn
Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle
| Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Gayle began her career in music in 1970, after her big sister, legendary country singer Loretta Lynn, helped her secure her first recording contract.

"She gave me the best advice: 'Don't sing anything that I would because we're only going to be compared,'" Gayle recalls. "She was right."

The younger sibling honed her own sound in the years that followed and enjoyed a string of elegant country-pop hits, including her 1977 single "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," which topped Billboard's country chart and went to No. 2 on the Hot 100.

RELATED VIDEO: Loretta Lynn Admitted Into Nashville Hospital After Suffering a Stroke

"That song crossed boundaries," she says. "I never get tired of singing it."

While she and Lynn, now 89, were made out to be rivals early on, Gayle says that wasn't the case. After all, they even posed together for a joint PEOPLE cover in 1978.

"We're sisters, so of course we're going to have our words," she says, "but it was never anything major. We'd laugh about it and go on with our careers."

crystal gayle
Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn

Gayle is now a grandmother to her son Christos's two boys, Elijah, 17, and Björn, 1, but her bond with Lynn remains unchanged.

"I haven't seen her for a while because [of the COVID-19 pandemic], but I do need to see her real soon," Gayle says. "I am so proud and honored to be her sister."

For all the details on Crystal Gayle's life now, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.