Loretta Lynn's granddaughter, Emmy Russell, has been captivating audiences across the country each week on her American Idol journey. In a recent interview, she shared the sage advice her "memaw" gave her when it comes to entertaining an audience.

“While performing I would sing one song everyone knew, which was ‘If I Die Young.’ And then I'd sing an original song," Russell explains to the Bicuits & Jam Podcast. "Memaw always told me to do that, 'cause everyone wants to sing along with you. But then if you want to share your heart, do that too, but not too much."

The Idol hopeful reveals she received that advice when she was just 11 years old, and she's carried it with her throughout her musical journey.

Now, at age 25, she's competing for the coveted title of American Idol and, ironically, she received her golden ticket after wearing her heart on her sleeve and performing an original song during her audition.

What Song Did Emmy Russell Audition With on American Idol?

During the season 22 auditions, Russell chose to sing a song she wrote about eating disorders called "Skinny." Performing something so vulnerable was ultimately a way for her to channel her famous grandmother.

“Memaw was a little bit too truthful sometimes," she admits. "I think that that's what gave me the ammunition to write a song like ‘Skinny.’"

"I think I'm completely different than my grandma, but someone commented and said, ‘You're so much like her, because that was such a gutsy song to sing just like so many songs in her time were so gutsy,’" Russell recounts. "I was like, ‘Oh, wow.’ Maybe she gave me a little truth gene. But was it scary for her like it is for me?"

"I think probably a little less for her. She's very brave.”

How Far Does Emmy Russell Make It on American Idol?

Russell has made it to the Top 20 going into the next episode on Sunday, April 14. This week the competition will narrow down to the Top 14.

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