Wynonna Judd Takes the ‘American Idol’ Stage With Emmy Russell for Unbelievable Loretta Lynn Tribute of “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Wynonna Judd needs no introduction. Among only a handful of women in country music instantly recognized by their first names, she rose to fame in the ’80s as one half of the mother-daughter duo, The Judds. Fresh off a viral national anthem performance at the 150th annual Kentucky Derby, Wynonna wasted no time returning to the stage. The “I Saw the Light” singer joined Top 5 finalist Emmy Russell onstage during the Sunday (May 19) finale.

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Wynonna Judd Takes the ‘Idol’ Stage

Emmy Russell auditioned for American Idol partly to find her place in her family’s rich musical history. The 25-year-old Tennessee native is the granddaughter of the late country legend Loretta Lynn.

Russell had already performed Lynn’s signature 1970 hit on the American Idol stage. On Sunday night, she sang it again, this time alongside Wynonna — country royalty, just like “Memaw.”

“Wynonna supporting and lifting up Emmy was amazing,” one viewer commented on X/Twitter.

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

Emmy Russell Is Making Moves Post-‘Idol’

This season of American Idol saw some impressive talent, including Emmy Russell, granddaughter of the late country legend Loretta Lynn. The 25-year-old Tennessee native came up just short of the season 22 finale when she was eliminated after the Top 5. However, Russell isn’t letting that stop her. She dropped a new original single, “Redemption,” this week.

Russell told Parade that “Redemption” was the result of processing a painful breakup. “There was a time when I placed all my value in someone else’s hands,” she said. “But eventually, I had to realize I was constantly being tossed between ‘I love you’ and ‘I don’t love you.’”

Russell has talked of the newfound self-confidence she gained from her time on American Idol. “Redemption” sounds like a byproduct of that. “This song represents my decision to no longer be the person you come back to when it’s convenient,” she said.

The Top 5 finalist added, “I finally realized my worth by looking to God, then letting the truth that ‘I am loved,’ sink in. Now I know, no guy, nor anyone else, can take that away from me. I am loved and now, that’s my redemption.”

Featured image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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