Loretta Lynn's granddaughter Emmy Russell continues impressive American Idol journey

15 April 2024, 10:19

Loretta Lynn- Still A Mountain Girl documentary trailer

By Mayer Nissim

"I wanna own my voice.."

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It's hard enough plucking up the courage to sing in front of millions of people on TV, and while some people may think that having musical family roots can help, it brings its own challenges.

So we're applauding Emmy Russell – the 24-year-old granddaughter of country music legend Loretta Lynn – who has impressed American Idol judges and viewers with her own compositions.

"I think there's a reason why I am a little timid, and I think it's because I wanna own my voice," Emmy said upon her first appearance back in February.

"That's why I wanna challenge myself and come out here."

Playing the piano while she sang, Emmy performed her own song 'Skinny', which she wrote about her struggles with an eating disorder.

Emmy Russell: Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Sings Tearful Original Song 'Skinny' - American Idol 2024

"Emmy, you're an A+ songwriter," said judge Katy Perry, who is enjoying her last season on American Idol before she quits to focus on her own career.

"So was your grandma. You got the gift. I don't think you need to compare yourself to what grandma was. You're totally different. You shouldn't give yourself all that pressure."

Emmy's spot on American Idol isn't her first high-profile public appearance.

Emmy Russell & Lukas Nelson Sing "Lay Me Down" | A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn

She played her own 'Memaw's Guitar', a tribute to Loretta, at the Grand Ole Opry in April 2023.

Less than a month after Lynn died in October 2022, Emmy also played 'Lay Me Down' as a duet with Lukas Nelson during the all-star Coal Miner's Daughter event.

Loretta had originally recorded the song as a duet with Lukas's dad Willie Nelson.

Emmy is currently still in American Idol as of April 15, and has made it to the final 20 of the 2024 season.

For her first live performance of the series, she performed her original song 'Want You'.

Emmy Russell: Stunning Original Song "Want You" - American Idol 2024

Emmy's mother is Patsy Lynn, the twin daughter of Loretta Lynn. Patsy and her sister Peggy formed the duo The Lynns who scored a couple of hits in the 1990s.

Loretta passed away in 2022 at the age of 90. Emmy is also related to country singer Crystal Gayle, who was Loretta's younger sister.