Loretta Lynn’s Granddaughter, Emmy Russell, Delivers Emotional Performance Of Original Song, ‘Want You,’ On ‘American Idol’

Russell has debuted multiple original songs throughout her Idol journey, but this one struck a chord with the judges.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 15, 2024


3:07 pm

Share on:

Emmy Russell; Photo by Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

American Idol Season 22 contestant, Emmy Russell put her heart on the line as she debuted a new original song titled “Want You” during Sunday night’s airing of the competition show. Her performance proved to be an emotional one for all three of the Idol judges, and especially the show’s host, Ryan Seacrest. 

Russell is the granddaughter of the legendary Loretta Lynn, meaning she has songwriting in her blood. As a Top 20 contestant on the show, she gets to showcase her songwriting skills by performing original tunes that tap into her deepest emotions. 

“The reason why I do love American Idol is that you can do original music,” she shared. 

Began Writing Songs At 9 Years Old

Emmy Russell; Photo by Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Emmy Russell; Photo by Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

Prior to taking the stage, the 25-year-old revealed she has been writing music since she was 9 years old. Throughout her lifetime, she has used this skill as a way to express herself through vulnerable stories inspired by personal experiences. 

“Whenever you share a song, it’s very vulnerable. Anything I feel I write. It just starts coming out of me,” Russell explained. “I go to my iPhone and my piano, it is my best friend whenever it comes to music. I feel a melody, I go to my iPhone, record it. A lyric, go to it, record it. I have thousands.”

That raw authenticity unfolded in front of the live audience as the female songstress powered through the stunning narrative. Through her crisp vocals, Russell finds herself illustrating the heartbreaking feeling of loving someone who doesn’t love her back.  

YouTube video

Host Ryan Seacrest Admits He Got Teary-Eyed

As soon as Seacrest joined her on stage, he admitted he was crying backstage listening to her tell her story. Luckily, Luke Bryan was on hand to offer him a warm hug.

Perry revealed that “Want You” is one of her favorite original songs that she’s heard Russell perform on Idol yet. While she felt connected to the tune, the “Wide Awake” singer said she still wanted to see more power come from her vocals. 

“I know you are just a little nervous. I just want more breaths, more long notes, girl. Like go swimming. Learn how to hold your breath more. We need longer notes from Emmy and I know you have them. We need power. Come on, let’s go. The time is now.”

Bryan Declares “Want You” His Favorite Performance From Russell Yet

Bryan added on to Perry’s love for the song choice, noting that he felt particularly drawn to it because it felt “so real.”

“That was so you. I loved it because then it was so real and I think we could really feel the emotion in that, and that’s what your artistry is about and don’t lose that,” he shared before adding, “But listen, that thing that you did with that song really is your signature. It was very emotional and probably my favorite performance that you’ve done.”

Emmy Russell seemed to win over the judges this round, but fans will have to tune into American Idol tonight to see if she received enough votes from viewers to continue into the Top 14. Tune into ABC at 8 PM ET/PT to see which hopeful contestants will move on in the competiton and which will be sent home. 

Share on:

Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.