Emmy Russell, granddaughter of Loretta Lynn, delivers a heartfelt original song on American Idol…

Last month, Emmy Russell, the granddaughter of Loretta Lynn, impressed the judges at her American Idol audition with an original song titled “Skinny.” Initially shy during her interview, the 24-year-old Nashville singer-songwriter caught the judges’ attention when she mentioned her grandmother was a country singer, later revealing the legendary Loretta Lynn as her grandmother.

Russell showcased a beautiful, emotional, and authentic country-pop voice, reflecting much of her grandmother’s talent. Accompanying herself skillfully on the grand piano, her performance aired on February 25, 2024, and quickly went viral, amassing over 2.3 million views on the American Idol YouTube channel.

Singing about intimate topics like eating disorders in an audition requires immense bravery, which is exactly what “Skinny” tackles. During her introduction, Russell shared her musical background, mentioning that she has been singing all her life and loves composing and writing music.

She also reminisced about singing on the road with her grandmother, although they hadn’t performed live together in recent years.

After hearing “Skinny,” judge Katy Perry praised Russell, saying, “Emmy, you’re an A+ songwriter — so was your grandma. You’re quite talented. You are not your grandma at all, and I don’t think it’s healthy to compare yourself to her. Stop putting too much strain on yourself.” Perry’s comments came after Russell and Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson had delivered a stunning performance of “Lay Me Down” at Loretta Lynn’s A Celebration of Her Life and Music in 2022.

Perry then asked Russell to reintroduce herself more confidently, emphasizing the importance of asserting herself. Lionel Richie added, “My darling, you have promise, and I like your promise. Every single one of us is fighting an uphill struggle. You are walking in very large shoes.

That shoe size is clearly not yours; now all I have to do is convince you to return it to the closet.” Country artist Luke Bryan agreed, saying, “We’ve just got to lift you up and get you more confident, and you just need to own it.”

Richie and Bryan voted yes on Russell’s audition. After Perry prompted Russell to reintroduce herself, the emotional moment brought tears to Russell’s eyes, but she powered through. Perry then revealed that Russell had received three affirmative votes and was advancing to Hollywood.

The judges’ assessments were accurate; the competition features many talented singers, but when a young artist can also deeply move an audience with their lyrics, it’s clear they have the potential for stardom.

Here is the video:

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