Loretta Lynn’s Granddaughter Emmy Russell Wows With ‘Idol’ Audition

Loretta Lynn’s Granddaughter Emmy Russell Wows With ‘Idol’ Audition | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

American Idol/YouTube

Emmy Russell, the 25-year-old granddaughter of country music legend Loretta Lynn, made an appearance during Sunday night’s episode (Feb.25) of American Idol.

Emmy Rose Russell is the daughter of Patsy Russell, one of The Coal Miners’ twin daughters and Patsy Cline’s namesake. While Emmy doesn’t necessarily consider herself a country singer (other websites identify her as an indie pop artist), her country roots run deep. With country music greatness of grandma Loretta Lynn, great-aunt Crystal Gayle and her own mother, Pasty, and aunt Peggy in her lineage, Emmy’s path seemed to be carved out for her long before she was born.

Emmy Rose Russell/Instagram

At a young age, Emmy started sharing the stage with her famous grandma. Loretta often brought her out as a special guest during concerts and Emmy would sing covers of country songs as well as some originals she had written herself. Videos of these moments captured by fans show was a tight bond Emmy Rose and Loretta had.


When Loretta Lynn died in October 2022, Emmy teamed up with Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas, to sing “Lay Me Down” at her memorial service. The song was originally recorded by Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn in 2016. The song, which tells the story of finding peace after death, was a fitting tribute to the Coal Miner’s daughter.

Emmy Russell Carries On Her Family Legacy

Following Loretta’s death, Emmy took to social media to share that her grandma had encouraged her to use her musical gift.

“To @lorettalynnofficial thank you for the life you have given me, and the family, you left a legacy~ a light that made a mark. You’re hard to forget. ‘I’m so proud of you honey, you write like a 40 year old woman.’ I still hear you. You encouraged me and the calling God had over my life. Even though you were tough on me the last few years it gives me confidence that connecting and using my gifts and loving people well is what I’m here for. I’m not just a singer. I am a light. Thank you for showing that and demonstrating your light to the world.”

Emmy Russell has been pursuing a solo career in recent years, but took things a step farther when she decided to audition for American Idol.

During Monday night’s episode (Feb. 25), Emmy auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, and shared about her deep connection to her grandma and how her family encouraged her to pursue this opportunity.

Wearing an oversized green hoodie and no makeup, Russell performed two original songs for the judges: “Skinny” and “Breakup Song.”

Russell told local media ahead of the audition airing that “Breakup Song” was obviously inspired by a painful breakup. “Skinny” was inspired by pressure she experienced when she was on the road with her grandma that eventually led to an eating disorder.

“I need to eliminate this so let’s talk about it,” Russell said, adding that she found the courage to write “Skinny” in her grandma’s ability to tell the truth.

Russell also confessed that she went into the audition without any makeup on and attempted to look as “real as possible” so the judges would see her for her authenticity.

“I did have a lot of makeup on for the first…whenever they were taking pictures at the beginning,” Russell admits. “By the time that my audition came, I took it all off because I really wanted to be myself and feel like if I got a “yes,” I got a “yes” for me.”

Emmy wowed the judges with her heart-wrenching and “relatable” performance, leading all three to unanimously agree to send her through to the Hollywood round.

Watch Emmy Rose Russell sing “Skinny” in the video below.

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