Loretta Lynn’s Granddaughter Cries and Hugs Judge Katy Perry After Emotionally Charged ‘American Idol’ Audition

The judges were very impressed

Loretta Lynn CAT2
Erika Goldring/WireImage

Award-winning country singer Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, Emmy Russell, dreams of becoming the next American Idol.

On Sunday’s episode, Russell was one of the contestants to audition for season 22 of the singing competition. At first, Russell was hesitant to reveal who her grandmother was. When she introduces herself to merican Idol judges Katy PerryLionel Richie and Luke Bryan in the video below, she says, “Growing up, I sang music my entire life.”

Russell continues, “I just love writing. I’m 24 years old. Songwriter, I love music. I don’t really sing out as much anymore, but growing up, I sang on the road with…my grandma’s a country singer.”

Bryan curiously asks, “Who’s your grandmother?” And that’s when Russell reveals her shocking connection to the legendary country singer.

In the audition footage, the 24-year-old musician performs her original song “Skinny” for the American Idol judges. Russell completely blows them away with her powerful vocals and impressive songwriting skills.

But Perry notes Russell’s lack of confidence. She tells Russell, “Emmy, you’re an A+ songwriter. So was your grandma. You’ve got the gift.”

Still, Perry believes Russell has a promising future as a performer. “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,” Perry adds.

Richie agrees with his colleague and goes on to explain, “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.”

Lastly, Bryan shares that Russell needs to own her voice. “We just need to lift you up and get you more confident and you just need to own it,” he says. 

When the three judges vote “yes” and Russell receives her ticket to Hollywood, the young singer breaks into tears and shares an especially emotional hug with Perry.

We’re rooting for you, Emmy. 

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...