‘American Idol’ Star Emmy Russell Shares Intimate Details of Growing up With “Memaw” Loretta Lynn

Country music flows through Emmy Russell’s veins — literally. The granddaughter of the late, great Loretta Lynn has established herself as a real contender for the season 22 American Idol crown. During Monday’s (April 15) episode, the 25-year-old Tennessean learned viewers had voted her into the top 14. Russell recently sat down with Southern Living to discuss growing up with the “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

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‘American Idol’s’ Emmy Russell Opens Up on Bond with Loretta Lynn

Emmy Russell was born on Jan. 10 — the same day her grandmother married husband Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn.

“God kind of was like, ‘I’m gonna send her on the day that they got married, just to show her that they’re alike,” Russell said.

Russell, whose mother is Lynn’s daughter Patsy, recalled “singing on the road” with her “Memaw” at 2 years old. Patsy performed with twin sister Peggy as the country music duo The Lynns.

“[We were] very close my entire life,” Russell said.

[RELATED: 3 Loretta Lynn Deep Cuts All Emmy Russell & ‘American Idol’ Fans Should Know]

Along with her multiple gold albums and 24 No. 1 singles, Lynn was also known for performing in intricate ball gowns. Russell said. The singer-songwriter loved playing dress up in “Memaw’s” closet as a child — much to the chagrin of everyone but Lynn.

“She’s like, ‘Oh honey, go ahead. You can wear that any time,'” Russell said of the “Blue Kentucky Girl” singer. “Everyone else is like, ‘Don’t touch that, that’s, like, prize winner!’ And I’m like, ‘It’s just a dress.'”

Good News on Meemaw’s Birthday

Monday (April 14) was special for Russell, in more ways than one. The “Skinny” singer learned she had made the top 20 and was therefore one step closer to fulfilling her American Idol dreams. Fittingly, Lynn would have turned 92 that same day.

The “You Ain’t Woman Enough” singer’s official Instagram account commemorated the occasion with a sweet post. “Loretta told all who would listen that Emmy had something special and now the world is seeing for themselves,” the caption read.

Loretta Lynn believed so strongly in her granddaughter’s potential that she personally gifted Russell with her guitar.

“Memaw passed me down her guitar when I was 15 at the Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry, and she said, ‘You’re the one that can do it,’” Russell said, “She always thought I had this spark about me ever since I was a little kid, and she felt that she needed to give me the guitar as the torch in a way, or the mantle.”

Featured image via Instagram

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