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Emmy Russell, Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, advances after ‘American Idol’ audition

Emmy Russell

Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter is carving out her own musical niche.

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Emmy Russell, 25, impressed the judges during her audition on “American Idol,” which aired Sunday night, Entertainment Weekly reported.

She appeared before “Idol” judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Russell told The Tennessean that her “hands were shaking” while playing in her audition.

Russell is the daughter of Patsy Russell, 59, the twin sister of Peggy Lynn. The siblings performed as the duo The Lynns. They are Loretta Lynn’s youngest daughters.

“Growing up, I sang music my entire life,” she said as she introduced herself. “I just love writing. ... Songwriter, I love music. I don’t really sing out as much anymore, but growing up I sang on the road with … my grandma’s a country singer.”

“Who’s your grandmother?” Bryan asked.

“Loretta Lynn,” Russell answered.

You’re grandma is -- what?” Richie said.

The young singer did not mention that she also has other notable country music relatives. She is the niece of Crystal Gayle, according to The Tennessean.

Russell was 24 during her first audition and is returning to music after spending part of her early 20s traveling around the world as a Christian missionary, the newspaper reported.

The judges teased Russell about being quiet and shy at the beginning of her audition, Entertainment Tonight reported.

“I think there’s a reason why I think I am a little timid and I think it is ‘cause I want to own my voice and I wanna own it,” she told the judges. “That’s why I wanna challenge myself and come out here and really step in and be like ‘OK, come on Emmy.’”

For her audition, Russell played the grand piano and sang an original composition, “Skinny,” which was about an eating disorder, the Country Now website reported.

The judges were impressed with Russell’s songwriting abilities but encouraged her to be more confident, Entertainment Tonight reported.

“Emmy, you’re an A+ songwriter. So was your grandma, you’ve got the gift,” Perry told Russell. “I don’t think you need to compare yourself to what Grandma was -- you’re totally different, you shouldn’t give yourself all that pressure. I think you came in like a mouse.”

Richie agreed with Perry.

“My dear, you have promise, and I like your promise,” the “Hello” singer said. “Each one of us is trying to battle something that we’re trying to overcome. In your case you have big shoes. Now if I can just get you to put those shoes back in the closet, that’s not your size.”

“We just need to lift you up and get you more confident and you just need to own it,” Bryan added.

The judges gave Russell a “yes” vote, sending her to the next round in Hollywood, Entertainment Weekly reported.

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