Crystal Gayle Shares Heartfelt Reaction to Emmy Russell’s Loretta Lynn Tribute on ‘American Idol’

Keeping her dreams of becoming the next American Idol alive, Emmy Russell took the stage on Monday night to give a heartfelt performance that hit close to home. Over the last few weeks, fans watched as Russell showcased her range and honored her grandmother Loretta Lynn. Holding such a special place in country music, Russell decided to sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, which was made famous by Lynn. Besides judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry gushing over her performance, Russell also gained praise from another country legend. 

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Much like Lynn, her older sister, Crystal Gayle, also went into the music industry as she released 26 studio albums. Her last album, You Don’t Know Me: Classic Country, released in 2019. She also appeared in numerous television specials over the years. But on Monday night, she watched as Russell took the stage. With such an iconic song to tackle, Gayle showered the aspiring artist with love. She wrote on Facebook, “Emmy Russell you made your grandmother proud singing “Coal Miners Daughter”  last night on American Idol You were wonderful!! Here we are at the Grand Ole Opry performing for Loretta Lynn birthday last year.  We love the Opry!!!” 

Emmy Russell Proud Of Where She Comes From

Besides performing, Russell and the other contestants had to pick one of three songs to sing. On top of that, they also had to pick which song the judges picked. And given the history of “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, the artist easily knew it was Perry. Explaining her reasoning for the song, Perry said, “I choose this song not because Loretta Lynn is your grandma. I chose this song because you are Emmy Russell, and you can do anything now as Emmy Russell.”

[RELATED: ‘American Idol’ Contestant Sets the Record Straight Over Perceived Emmy Russell Snub: “We Don’t Tolerate Mean Girl Energy Here”]

Filling the comments with praise for Russell, one fan added, “Outstanding tribute to your grandmother last night while also giving “Coal Miner’s Daughter” your own touch and sound. It was beautiful, Emmy! Thanks also to you, Crystal Gayle, for your musical contributions over the years. You are loved.”

As for Russell, she was proud to cover her grandmother’s song as she insisted, “I’m Emmy Russell. I’m 24-years-old, and I’m proud to be a coal miner’s great granddaughter.”

(Emmy Russell Beautifully Sings a Bonnie Raitt Classic – American Idol 2024, n.d.)

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