WATCH: Emmy Russell and Wynonna Judd Perform Powerful Tribute To Loretta Lynn During ‘American Idol’ Finale

This marked the second time Russell performed her grandmother, Loretta Lynn’s song on Idol.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 20, 2024


1:29 pm

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Emmy Russell, Wynonna; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

American Idol contestant, Emmy Russell, made it all the way to the Top 5 in the Season 22 competition before being eliminated from the show on May 12 during Disney week. Although she did not make it to the final round of voting, the aspiring singer/songwriter appeared to be overjoyed to return to the show on Sunday, May 19 when she sang with Wynonna Judd as part of this year’s live finale. 

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

The pair of strong female artists teamed up to perform the famed tune “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Russell’s late grandmother and country music icon, Loretta Lynn. Together, they made country music proud as they took turns singing the autobiographical story. Wynonna grabbed onto Russell’s hands before coming together for a harmonious delivery of the chorus as images of Lynn were displayed in the background.

To close out their performance, the pair of artists broke out into a gritty rendition of Wynonna’s own “No One Else On Earth,” which brought judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to their feet and got them dancing along to the upbeat song. 

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Russell Previously Brought Judges To Tears With Special Tribute

This isn’t the first time Russell has paid tribute to her grandmother with this original song. She previously brought tears to the eyes of her fellow contestants, family members, and the judging panel when she delivered an incredibly powerful rendition of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” back on April 29. The rising star was challenged to perform this tune as part of the Judge’s Song Contest, which tasked Bryan, Perry, and Richie with selecting songs for the Top 8 contestants to sing. 

There’s no doubt that Russell once again made a lasting impression on the judges and the viewers with each of her powerhouse performances.   

Emmy Russell performs "Coal Miner's Daughter" on 'American Idol; Photo by; Disney/Eric McCandless
Emmy Russell performs “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on ‘American Idol; Photo by; Disney/Eric McCandless

Brand-New Single, “Redemption”

Now that Emmy Russell’s time on Idol has come to an end, she is ready to embark on the next phase of her career. Just days before appearing on the show’s finale, the siring star released her new single, “Redemption,” which she penned alongside Lauren McLamb and Rob Sewell after enduring a difficult breakup. 

“There was a time when I placed all my value in someone else’s hands. But, eventually, I had to realize I was constantly being tossed between ‘I love you’ and ‘I don’t love you,’” the 25-year-old Tennessee native said in a recent statement. “This song represents my decision to no longer be the person you come back to when it’s convenient. My telling him, ‘it’s over.’” 

She went on to say that the story behind this song hones in on her journey to finding redemption in being alone and finding the courage to realize that she owed it to herself to break the toxic cycle. 

She continued, “I finally realized my worth by looking to God, 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.” 

This release adds to her growing catalog of singles and marks the start of what is on track to be a very successful music career. 

Fans can expect to catch Emmy Russell performing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, June 1. 

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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.