American Idol’s Emmy Russell Honors Memaw Loretta Lynn With Breathtaking “Coal Miner’s Daughter” Performance

This season’s American Idol hopefuls are fighting harder than ever as the May 19 finale draws closer. On Sunday (April 28), pop-country queen Shania Twain stopped by to mentor the top 10. Each contestant vied for their spot in the top 8 by singing a hit from the year they were born. After the viewers had their say, Emmy Russell was among the singers advancing to the next round.

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Emmy Russell Honors Late Grandmother

No one has ever questioned Emmy Russell’s country bona fides. Her grandmother, Loretta Lynn, blazed a trail for women in country music with hits like “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “The Pill.”

American Idol viewers have waited all season to hear Russell channel her iconic Memaw. And she didn’t disappoint, giving everything she had on Lynn’s signature 1970 hit “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

“That was such an incredible, beautiful performance from Emmy Russell in honor of her grandmother,” one viewer wrote on X/Twitter. “Had me tearing up a bit.”

Russell has previously brought Idol viewers to tears with emotional original tunes like “Skinny.” She has also brought her own distinct flavor to unlikely hits like Blink-182’s “All the Small Things.”

Russell’s main obstacle this season has been her own timid nature. Guest mentor Shania Twain helped the aspiring sing overcome her nerves this week — after the two had finished fangirling over one another.

“I freaked out,” Russell said on the show. “She’s literally the queen of pop country.”

Twain was equally starstruck. “There’s no Shania Twain without Loretta Lynn,” the “Any Man of Mine” singer said. “Emmy is her own talent, but it’s still very surreal.”

During rehearsals, Twain encouraged Russell to “go for the yodel.” That may seem like a bold choice for a pop-punk number, but the Idol judges loved it.

“If you would’ve told me a month and a half ago one of your best vocals would be a Blink-182 song.,” judge Luke Bryan said. “That’s what so fun about this show.”

Judge Katy Perry commented that “comfortable looks good on you.” “You’re really growing into this,” the “Part of Me” singer said.

Featured image via Instagram

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