Watch Loretta Lynn’s Granddaughter Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” On “American Idol”

American Idol / YouTube, Emmy Russell / Instagram

For her entire life, Emmy Russell watched her grandmother, Loretta Lynn, perform live on stage for countless adoring fans. While Loretta was this huge icon to her fans, she was just “Memaw” to Emmy.

Emmy and Loretta had quite a bond, which was amplified due to their shared love of singing and writing songs.

Loretta Lynn and her granddaughter, Emmy Russell. Emmy Russell / Instagram

Emmy grew up on the road with Loretta and even performed two songs for each show. Even as young as 11 years old, Emmy was performing original songs on stage sitting next to her grandmother. One of those originals is called “Memaw’s Guitar” and was all about a young girl wanting to follow in her grandma’s footsteps. Other times, she has sung covers, like The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young.”

We have watched Emmy’s career since those performances when she was just a young girl, but the world was finally introduced to her when she auditioned for the 22nd season of American Idol.

For her audition, she performed an original song titled “Skinny,” which was about an eating disorder she battled after receiving harsh comments about her weight as a child while performing with her grandmother.

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

Emmy’s ability to tell a story through her music won over the judges, who advanced her through each round to get to the live shows, where America started having the power to vote for their favorite singers. Throughout her time on the singing competition series, Emmy has performed a few original songs, as well as covers, and each performance seems to be better than the last.

RELATED: List: All Of Emmy Russell’s “American Idol” Performances

During Monday night’s (April 29) episode, the contestants were given three songs chosen specifically for them by each judge. They weren’t told which judge chose which song. Emmy had a choice of “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn, and “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall.

Emmy chose to sing her Memaw’s song and wanted to change it up a little bit as an ode to Loretta, “almost as a way of hugging her,” she said in the pre-taped package.

She slowed the song way down and added some extra flair at the end to showcase her vocal range. Cameras cut to Emmy’s mom, Patsy Russell, who just looked so proud of her.

Patsy Russell, daughter of Loretta Lynn, watching proudly as her own daughter, Emmy Russell, performs her mother’s song. (Photo credit: American Idol / YouTube)

Her fellow contestants were visibly emotional and impressed by the performance as well. When it came to the judging section, Luke Bryan was too overcome with emotion, he couldn’t speak and passed his time off to Katy Perry, who Emmy suspected chose the song for her.

Through tears, Perry told her, “I chose this song not because you’re Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, but because you are Emmy Russell and you can do anything now as Emmy Russell.”

Moments after this emotional performance, Emmy was voted through to the Top 7 by the fans. We can’t wait to see what she performs next. We think Loretta would have absolutely loved Emmy’s performance. Watch it below.

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