Watch Emmy Russell Perform “Memaw’s Guitar” for Loretta Lynn Before ‘American Idol’ Fame

For most aspiring artists who find themselves on American Idol, their time on the stage is often their first step into the music industry. With nothing but a dream to guide them, each singer learns a great deal while on the show. Even if they don’t win, the time in the spotlight is a great way to expand one’s stardom. But for Emmy Russell, she knows the ins and outs of the entertainment industry thanks to her grandmother Loretta Lynn. An icon in country music, Russell grew up with a rich knowledge of music and stage presence. And while she continues her run on American Idol, the singer once performed beside Lynn on stage. 

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With hits songs like, “Blue Kentucky Girl”, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl”,  and “Fist City”, country music lost a legendary performer when Lynn passed away back in October 2022. While she still performed, she always found time for family, even if it was on a stage. In a video uploaded on YouTube, Lynn is shown listening to Russell perform for her. And to make it better, Russell performed an original song called “Memaw’s Guitar.” 

Emmy Russell Recalls The Advice Her Grandmother Gave Her

Appearing on the Biscuits & Jam Podcast, Russell explained how her grandmother passed her famous guitar to her. “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 continued, “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. And Lord knows it if I can’t hold that. That’s too much. She wrote like, all these, ‘Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin,’ just these big songs on that guitar. It holds a lot of history.”

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

Not only passing down her guitar, Lynn offered Russell a lifetime’s worth of knowledge when it came to performing on stage. Russell recalled, “While performing I would sing one song everyone knew, which was ‘If I Die Young.’ And then I’d sing an original song. Memaw always told me to do that, ’cause everyone wants to sing along with you. But then if you want to share your heart, do that too, but not too much.”

With Lynn by her side, don’t miss Russell as she continues her dreams to become the next American Idol.

(Photo by Renee Dominguez/FilmMagic)

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