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Country music icon’s granddaughter to compete on American Idol

Season 22 will see the granddaughter of the late great Loretta Lynn audition

Inga Parkel
Monday 19 February 2024 19:55 GMT
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Dwayne Johnson and Kelly Clarkson perform duet to honour country icon Loretta Lynn

American Idol will reportedly welcome the granddaughter of the late country music icon Loretta Lynn to the stage in the next episode of season 22.

25-year-old Emmy Russell will audition for a spot on the popular reality singing series, she revealed to her local Tennessee newspaper. The episode is scheduled to air on Sunday (25 February).

“I just wanted to be around other young creatives like me,” Russell told Kingston Springs Gazette. “I think I just like the hard work of it, and it was outside the traditional way that my grandma had – which is a publishing deal, get the record deal.

“I wanted something out there and fun and just forced me to do it because I’m so shy and scared of going for it,” she added.

Russell made her Grand Ole Opry debut last April in honour of what would have been her grandmother’s 91st birthday.

“I use to run from my family heritage and wanna make my own path,” she wrote in an Instagram post at the time.

“I feel a deep connection to thank, accept and celebrate her, cause she believed in me from the start before anyone did. Not ashamed anymore. She was never ashamed of me. I’m a granddaughter, and I’m Emmy …. It’s all a part of me! This is the start of a beautiful journey. Couldn’t be more excited.”

Lynn, the American country singer known for writing unapologetically about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control, died in October 2022 aged 90.

The singer’s biggest hits came in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “You Ain’t Woman Enough”, “The Pill”, “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”, “Rated X” and “You’re Looking at Country”.

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Lynn was married to her husband, talent manager Oliver, for nearly 50 years before his death in 1996. They had six children: Betty, Jack, Ernest, Clara, and twins Patsy and Peggy.

Russell is the daughter of Patsy and Phillip Russell.

In a surprise announcement last week, American Idol judge Katy Perry said she is leaving the popular reality show after seven seasons.

“I love Idol so much, it’s connected me with the heart of America,” she said during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “But I feel like I need to go out to feel that pulse of my own beat.”

American Idol airs Sundays at 8pm ET on ABC, with episodes available to stream the next day on Hulu.

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