Loretta Lynn's granddaughter auditions for 'American Idol' and wows the judges: ''I want to own my voice'

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A songwriter who performed her original song on "American Idol" not only snagged support from all three judges during her audition but left them shocked after sharing she's related to a country icon.

On the Feb. 25 episode of the singing competition, Emmy Russell revealed she's the granddaughter of late singer Loretta Lynn and said it was a "dream" to audition for the show. She added that the audition marked one of her first public performances in a while.

After judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan noted how soft-spoken Russell was, she started to share a bit more about herself.

"I don't really sing out as much anymore, but growing up I sang on the road," Russell, 24, said. "My grandma's a country singer, so I kind of grew up singing."

"Who was your grandma?" Bryan asked.

Russell said Lynn's name, clearly shocking judges Bryan, Perry and Lionel Richie as they raised their eyebrows and widened their eyes.

"I think there's a reason why I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice," Russell said. "I want to own it. That's why I want to challenge myself and come here."

Russell went on to sing "Skinny," a song she wrote about eating disorders, which she also played on the piano.

Song lyrics include, "Haven’t eaten in days / God I hate how you made me / So I took a trip around the world to hold the hands of orphan girls / Saw the war, felt the pain / And miracles in his name / But I just want to be, I just want to be skinny."

After finishing her song, the judges showered her with praise and expressed an interest in helping her carve out a lane beyond being Lynn's granddaughter.

"Emmy, you're an A-plus songwriter, so is your grandma," Perry said. "You got the gift. 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."

Perry had Russell repeat her name and where she was from, louder this time.

"My dear, you have promise and I like your promise," Richie 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 got to lift you up and get you more confident and you just need to own it," Bryan tacked on.

Perry had Russell reintroduce herself one more time before giving the third and final yes to advance her to the next round.

"My name is Emmy and I'm 24 years old and I'm from Nashville, Tennessee," Russell cried.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com