Emmy Russell Says Katy Perry Encouraged Her To Play Loretta Lynn Classic On 'American Idol'
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Emmy Russell Says It Wasn't Her Idea To Sing Loretta Lynn Classic On 'American Idol'

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter Emmy Russell rocked the house with a cover of Lynn's classic song "Coal Miner's Daughter." However, Russell revealed that it actually wasn't her idea to sing the song on the musical competition. Well not exactly.

It was actually Katy Perry's idea. The judges got to throw out their recommendations for the performance, and Perry picked "Coal Miner's Daughter." Russell ended up going with Perry's pick because she felt a connection to the judge. Speaking with People, the judge explained that Russell was hesitant to embrace her lineage on the show. She really wanted to stand on her own separate from her grandmother. 

"I think she came in when she auditioned, she was a little bit hesitant to really reveal all of it, because she wants to stand on her own two feet," Perry said. "She wants everyone to know her as Emmy Russell and it can be hard when you're the daughter of someone or the granddaughter of someone."

However, Perry felt by showcasing the song that Russell could show her own unique talents.

"It's like you want to forge your own path and I think she has," Perry continued. "I knew she was going to ace it because she sang it a thousand times. She really did and it was just a jaw-drop moment."

Emmy Russell Embraces Heritage

In her own interview with the outlet, Russell opened up about her hesitation on singing the classic. She said that performing the song allowed her to embrace her family.

"I would always run away from my family and just not want to be a part of it. And I think this was the first time that I said, 'I'm proud. I'm proud to be in this family 'cause with the family comes a blessing, but with it comes a curse," Russell said. "I think just closing my eyes and telling her, 'I'm proud of you.' I did that in rehearsal. I was like, 'I'm proud of you.' I want people to feel proud of their story, where they've come from, and I hope that that song made them feel like, 'Oh, I can be proud of where I come from.' I'm just really grateful."

Russell said she put a lot of trust in Perry to lead her. "I feel this weird connection with Katy. I feel like she encouraged me so much and I just felt like it was her wanting me to be Emmy but then be proud of where I've come from too," she said.

Perry ended up getting teary-eyed from Russell's performance. She said, "You are Emmy Russell and you can do anything as Emmy Russell."