Emmy Russell Revisits Her Emotional Song, “Skinny,” After Advancing Into “Idol” Top 14

Emmy Russell performs as a member of Idol's Top 14

(Main Photo) American Idol / YouTube / (Inlay) American Idol / Facebook

Emmy Russell Opens Up About Heartbreaking Story Behind Her Original Song, “Skinny”

America fell in love with Emmy Russell after watching her vulnerable performance of her original song, “Skinny,” during the auditions for Season 22 of American Idol. The young singer immediately opened up to the judges…and shared a piece of her family history.

It turns out that Emmy is the granddaughter of country music legend Loretta Lynn.

The Opry asked Emmy Russell to come back and sing for them following her "Idol" audition. Here, she is pictured with her grandmother Loretta Lynn and great aunt Crystal Gayle. Emmy Russell performed her song "Skinny" in the auditions.
Emmy, pictured here with her great aunt Crystal Gayle and grandmother Loretta Lynn. Photo Credit: Emmy Russell / Instagram


Emmy grew up surrounded by music. She often toured with her grandmother and would perform for her fans. But as she grew up, Emmy found herself wanting to step out of Loretta’s shadow so she could come into her own as an artist.

Much like her grandmother, Emmy writes her own songs. She wrote her emotional piece, “Skinny,” about her struggle with an eating disorder.

I struggled a lot with physical beauty image pressures and social media. I kind of grew up in the spotlight and so I was always very image-conscious,” she said.

Emmy channeled her pain into “Skinny,” and the song resonated with the Idol judges during her audition. They awarded her a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

Her audition video currently has over three million views on YouTube alone.

Emmy Advanced Into American Idol‘s Top 14

Since then, Emmy has continued to advance in the competition. She made it through two brutal eliminations in Hollywood, performed in Hawaii (under Jelly Roll’s mentorship), and has made it to the live shows.

On Monday night (April 15), Emmy learned that America voted for her to be a member of the season’s Top 14. After learning the news, Emmy revisited “Skinny” in a new performance.

While she still seemed a little nervous, hearing Emmy sing “Skinny” again made viewers realize how much she’s grown since her audition. Some of the comments on the new performance were:

“Wow, that opening pulled me right in. Love a personal story, delivered well. She continues to surprise, delight me, bearing her soul.”

“I believed every word of her delivery. So happy for her growth and her beautiful expression.”

“I love you Emmy just the way you are. Congrats sweety. Always see your heart in every song you sing. You always deserve a spot.”

“She’s amazing and this song is so needed.”

“That song made me cry. How many young girls; (and women) will admit to having thought those same thoughts? Emmy Russell is an inspiration. So talented. GO EMMY!!! YOU GOT THIS!”

You can watch Emmy Russell’s most recent performance of “Skinny” in the video below.

Next week, Emmy will compete for a coveted spot in Idol‘s Top 10. We wish her the best!

If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, please visit the official website for the National Eating Disorders Association.