Emmy, Loretta Lynn’s 24-Year-Old Granddaughter, Impresses American Idol Judges with Powerful Original Song About Her Battle with Eating Disorders: Comparisons Drawn to Her Legendary Grandmother

Bintano
7 Min Read

The granddaughter of late legendary country singer Loretta Lynn thoroughly impressed the American Idol judges during her audition on Sunday’s show. 

Emmy Russell, 24, won the praises of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie after performing an original song called Skinny, which she said was written about her eating disorder battle. 

The judges were prepared to send Emmy through to the Hollywood auditions even before they knew of her iconic lineage. 

‘Growing up, I sang music my entire life,’ Emmy told the panel. ‘I don’t really sing out as much anymore, but growing up I sang on the road with… my grandma’s a country singer.’

After Luke pressed her on the singer’s identity, Emmy stunned them by disclosing that her ‘memaw’ was none other than the Grammy-winning hitmaker of such hits as You Ain’t Woman Enough and Coal Miner’s Daughter.

The granddaughter of late legendary country singer Loretta Lynn, Emmy Russell, thoroughly impressed the American Idol judges during her audition on Sunday's show

The granddaughter of late legendary country singer Loretta Lynn, Emmy Russell, thoroughly impressed the American Idol judges during her audition on Sunday’s show 

After Luke pressed her on the singer's identity, Emmy stunned them by disclosing that her 'memaw' was none other than the Grammy-winning hitmaker of such hits as You Ain't Woman Enough and Coal Miner's Daughter; Loretta pictured in 2014

After Luke pressed her on the singer’s identity, Emmy stunned them by disclosing that her ‘memaw’ was none other than the Grammy-winning hitmaker of such hits as You Ain’t Woman Enough and Coal Miner’s Daughter; Loretta pictured in 2014

‘She’s one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she’s just my grandma, and growing up on the bus and all that was very normal to me.’ Emmy added.

She then wowed the judges with her dulcet tones and her emotional lyrics like ‘Haven’t eaten in days/ God I hate how you made me.’

The judges also felt the need to boost Emmy’s confidence, noticing her occasional shyness during the audition. 

‘We just need to lift you up and get you more confident and you just need to own it,’ Luke said.

‘Emmy, you’re an A+ songwriter. So was your grandma, you’ve got the gift,’ Katy added.

‘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. I think you came in like a mouse.’

Lionel chimed in, saying, ‘My dear, you have promise, and I like your promise.

‘Each one of us is trying to battle something that we’re trying to overcome. In your case you have big shoes. Now if I can just get you to put those shoes back in the closet, that’s not your size.’

24-year-old Emmy won the praises of Katy Perry , Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie after performing an original song called Skinny, which she said was written about her eating disorder battle

24-year-old Emmy won the praises of Katy Perry , Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie after performing an original song called Skinny, which she said was written about her eating disorder battle

'Growing up, I sang music my entire life,' Emmy told the panel. 'I don’t really sing out as much anymore, but growing up I sang on the road with… my grandma’s a country singer'

‘Growing up, I sang music my entire life,’ Emmy told the panel. ‘I don’t really sing out as much anymore, but growing up I sang on the road with… my grandma’s a country singer’

'She’s one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she’s just my grandma, and growing up on the bus and all that was very normal to me.' Emmy added

‘She’s one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she’s just my grandma, and growing up on the bus and all that was very normal to me.’ Emmy added

She then wowed the judges with her dulcet tones and her emotional lyrics like 'Haven’t eaten in days/ God I hate how you made me

She then wowed the judges with her dulcet tones and her emotional lyrics like ‘Haven’t eaten in days/ God I hate how you made me

The judges also felt the need to boost Emmy's confidence, noticing her occasional shyness during the audition

The judges also felt the need to boost Emmy’s confidence, noticing her occasional shyness during the audition

Patsy Lynn, Emmy's mother and a country singer who was part of the duo The Lynns in the 1990s, was waiting in the wings and reflected on her daughter's timidity as well

Patsy Lynn, Emmy’s mother and a country singer who was part of the duo The Lynns in the 1990s, was waiting in the wings and reflected on her daughter’s timidity as well

Emmy said of her demeanor, ‘I think there’s a reason why I think I am a little timid and I think it is ‘cause I want to own my voice and I wanna own it.

‘That’s why I wanna challenge myself and come out here and really step in and be like “Okay, come on Emmy”‘.

Patsy Lynn, Emmy’s mother and a country singer who was part of the duo The Lynns in the 1990s, was waiting in the wings and reflected on her daughter’s timidity as well.

‘She just wanted to do this honestly [and say] “this is who I am and this is what I do and this is my heart,”‘ she explained. 

‘I think that when you come from a musical family, the shadow is so big. How do I fill those shoes? Well the deal is, you don’t. You make your own shadow.’

At the end of her audition, Emmy reflected on her performance and what it would have meant to Loretta, who passed away at age 90 in October 2022. 

‘I was thinking about my grandma, but I was also like “Emmy, she’s with you and now it’s your turn,”‘ she said. 

At the end of her audition, Emmy reflected on her performance and what it would have meant to Loretta, who passed away at age 90 in October 2022

At the end of her audition, Emmy reflected on her performance and what it would have meant to Loretta, who passed away at age 90 in October 2022 

'I was thinking about my grandma, but I was also like "Emmy, she’s with you and now it’s your turn,"' Emmy said, Loretta pictured in 1972

‘I was thinking about my grandma, but I was also like “Emmy, she’s with you and now it’s your turn,”‘ Emmy said, Loretta pictured in 1972

In 1969, she released her autobiographical Coal Miner's Daughter, which helped her reach her widest audience yet, she is pictured in 1965

In 1969, she released her autobiographical Coal Miner’s Daughter, which helped her reach her widest audience yet, she is pictured in 1965

‘I think I’m more like her now than whenever I was trying to be like her. I’m really excited.’

Loretta launched her career in the early 1960s, and her songs reflected her pride in her rural Kentucky background.

Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and ’70s, including Coal Mine’s Daughter, You Ain’t Woman Enough, The Pill, Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind), Rated X and You’re Looking at Country.

She was also portrayed by Sissy Spacek in the 1980 movie Coal Miner’s Daughter basked on the singer’s best-selling book.

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