April 14, 2024

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Watch Loretta Lynn's granddaughter audition for 'American Idol'

Watch Loretta Lynn's granddaughter audition for 'American Idol'

American Idol Viewers got a surprise on Sunday night. Amy Russell, granddaughter of country music legend Loretta Lynn, auditioned to participate in the reality show, where she performed a gorgeous original piano song called “Skinny.”

The 24-year-old musician, who hails from Nashville, wowed judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan with her performance, who were surprised by her pedigree.

“Growing up, I sang music my whole life,” Russell said as she introduced herself. “I just love to write. I'm 24 years old. I'm a songwriter. I love music. I don't really sing anymore, but growing up I used to sing on the road with my grandmother who's a country singer, so I grew up singing.”

“Who is your grandmother?” Brian asked. “Loretta Lynn,” Russell answered before showing off her grandmother’s farm in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, where Russell and her mother, country singer Patsy Lynn, grew up. “She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just my grandmother, and she grew up on the bus and all of that was very natural to me,” Russell explained.

Later, the judges commented that Russell seemed a bit quiet and shy. But Russell said it was because she wanted to become her own musician. “I think there's a reason why I'm a little shy, and I think it's because I want to have my voice and I want to own it,” she said. “That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here and step in and say 'Okay, come on Amy.'”

“She just wanted to do this honestly,” Patsy Lynn added in the Russell family clip [and say]“This is me, this is what I do, and this is my heart.” I think when you come from a musical family, the shadow is very big. How do I fill those shoes? Well, the deal is you don't. You create your own shadow.”

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The judges had largely positive feedback for Russell after her performance. “Amy, you are an A+ songwriter,” Perry said. “So was your grandmother, you've got the gift. I don't think you need to compare yourself to what your grandmother was – you're just different, and you shouldn't put all that pressure on yourself. I think you come in like a mouse.”

Richie added: “Honey, you have a promise, and I love your promise. Every one of us is trying to fight something we are trying to overcome. In your case you have great shoes. Now, if I could ask you to put these shoes back in the closet, these are not your size.


All three judges gave Russell a “yes” vote, meaning she would continue to the next round. Russell noted of her success, saying, “I was thinking about my grandmother, but I was also saying, 'Amy, she's with you and now it's your turn.' I think I'm more like her now than I ever was trying to be like her. I'm really excited.”

American Idol It currently airs its 22nd season on Sunday nights on ABC. This will mark Perry's final season as a judge, which she recently announced Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “I love Idol She explained. “You've connected me to the heart of America. But I need to feel my own pulse.”