Crystal Gayle Praises Her Great-Niece Emmy Russell’s Cover Of “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

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Emmy Russell paid homage to her grandmother Loretta Lynn on Monday night’s episode of American Idol 

One American Idol hopeful who has generated much excitement is singer-songwriter Emmy Russell. Not only is she the granddaughter of country music royalty Loretta Lynn, but she touched the hearts of many when she shared her raw, original song “Skinny.”

On Monday night’s episode of Idol, contestants were given the option of three songs to perform – one selection from each of the three judges – in a fun Judges Song Contest. Of her three song options, Emmy chose to perform “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” written and made famous by her late grandmother in 1971.


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Emmy Russell brings the audience to tears with “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Seated behind the piano, Emmy had the audience in awe and she performed the Loretta Lynn classic. Many were in tears, including Katy Perry, who later revealed that she had chosen the song for Emmy to sing. Katy said:

“I chose this song not because you’re Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, but because you are Emmy Russell and you can do anything now as Emmy Russell.”

Emmy’s talent shined through and her authenticity earned her a place in the Top 7


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Crystal Gayle reacts to Emmy Russell’s emotional performance

Crystal Gayle is the younger sister of Loretta Lynn and a country music star in her own right. Even though she was just a small child when Loretta became a star in the country music world, she followed in her older sister’s musical footsteps, and the pair collaborated many times over the years.

Crystal shared a photo with her great-niece, Emmy, taken last year at the Grand Ole Opry during a celebration for Loretta Lynn’s birthday, and along with it wrote:

“@emmyroserussell you made your grandmother proud singing “Coal Miners Daughter” last night on @americanidol You were wonderful!!” 


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Watch Emmy Russell’s memorable performance on American Idol below!