Watch ‘American Idol’ Star Emmy Russell and Willie Nelson’s Son “Make Their Legendary Relatives Proud” With Stunning Duet

Emmy Russell is currently a fan-favorite on American Idol. She grew up in a musical family and has Loretta Lynn’s blood in her veins. As a result, she came into the competition with honed singing talent. Some may not know that Russell is no stranger to being in front of a massive television audience. In October 2022, she performed during CMT’s Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn. She took the stage with Lukas Nelson to perform “Lay Me Down.”

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Lynn’s son-in-law Mark Marchetti wrote “Lay Me Down” and she released it on her 2016 album Full Circle. Amazingly, it was the first song that she and Willie Nelson recorded together after decades of friendship. So, it was fitting for Lukas Nelson and Russell to team up for the song to honor Lynn after her passing. Watch them do a beautiful rendition of the song below.

[RELATED: ‘American Idol’ Star Emmy Russell Reveals the Pivotal Advice Her Grandmother Loretta Lynn Gave Her]

“Lay Me Down” is a beautiful song about accepting one’s mortality and, more importantly, living a life that one can be proud of when it’s over. The pair of aging legends on the original recording made the song’s already-deep lyrics more poignant. However, Russell and Nelson proved that the duet partners don’t have to be long in the tooth to make this song special.

Emmy Russell and Lukas Nelson Make Their Elders Proud

Before Russell called Nelson to the stage, she told the crowd gathered at the Opry House and those watching at home about performing with her grandmother. “She always stood in the corner and called me onstage,” she recalled. Russell went on to say that she’d perform an original song and a cover that “everybody knew” during those performances. About standing on the stage during the tribute show, she said, “It’s the first time that she’s not here to look at me with her proud eyes. It’s just special. Thank you for listening.”

[RELATED: Watch Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson Duet On “Lay Me Down”]

Nelson opened the song with a short guitar solo that showed his father’s influence on his playing style. When he began to sing, his father’s influence showed itself yet again. At the same time, Russell’s delivery has her iconic late grandmother’s fingerprints all over it. Seeing them perform “Lay Me Down” was almost like watching the two country icons teaming up at a young age to wow a packed house.

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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