Watch Wynonna Judd, Emmy Russell Deliver Stunning Tribute To Loretta Lynn

Photo: ABC

Wynonna Judd joined Emmy Russell on the American Idol stage to deliver a stunning tribute to late country legend Loretta Lynn during the season finale on Sunday evening (May 19). Lynn “passed away peacefully…in her sleep” the morning of October 4, 2022 at her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She was 90.

Judd said on Monday (May 20) the American Idol performance with Russell was “such a full circle moment for me. Loretta Lynn was the first woman to hug me in country music. To sing Loretta’s life story with her granddaughter [Emmy Russell], and send her off as an artist in her own right, was so life giving. Emmy, I know your Memaw is so proud. I am too!!!! 🩵”

The duet took place only a few weeks after Russell, Lynn’s granddaughter, delivered her own rendition of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” while she competed on the show. Russell, 25, said before the emotional performance: “I need to be proud that I am a granddaughter of Loretta Lynn. …I’m proud to be a coal miner’s great granddaughter.” Judge Katy Perry explained that she selected “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for Russell, “not because Loretta Lynn is your grandma. I chose this song because you are Emmy Russell, and you can do anything now as Emmy Russell.” Russell has since spoke about her late grandmother’s influence in her life and music, including during a recent interview on the Biscuits & Jam podcast.

Judd shared a heartfelt tribute to Lynn at that time. She wrote, in part: “Loretta was like an aunt to me. I would call her and she would tell me stories. Some of my fondest memories of Loretta come from her telling me all about her life in Butcher Holler. …We mustn’t ever forget how important this woman was…IS…to country music. Rest In Peace my beloved ‘Retty.’ I will always love you. 🤍”

Judd and Russell followed their rendition of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” with a duet of Judd’s early 90s hit, “No One Else On Earth.” Judd’s appearance on American Idol arrives shortly after she announced her second leg of “Back To Wy Tour” dates, kicking off later this year. See her tour stops below, and watch her perform with Russell here:

Fri Sep 06 | Hutchinson, KS | Kansas State Fair

Sat Sep 07 | Tulsa, OK | River Spirit Casino

Sun Sep 08 | Lubbock, TX | Helen DeVitt Jones Theater at The Buddy Holly Hall

Wed Sep 11 | Colorado Springs, CO | Pikes Peak Center

Fri Sep 13 | Casper, WY | Ford Wyoming Center

Sat Sep 14 | Billings, MT | Alberta Bair Theater for the Performing Arts

Wed Sep 18 | Boise, ID | Morrison Center for the Performing Arts

Fri Sep 20 | Woodinville, WA | Chateau Ste Michelle Winery

Sat Sep 21 | Airway Heights, WA | BECU Live at Northern Quest

Tue Sep 24 | Idaho Falls, ID | Hero Arena at the Mountain America Center

Wed Sep 25 | Sandy, UT | Sandy Amphitheater

Fri Sep 27 | Saratoga, CA | Mountain Winery 

Sat Sep 28 | Wheatland, CA | Hard Rock Live Sacramento

Sun Sep 29 | Porterville, CA | Eagle Mountain Casino

Wed Oct 02 | El Cajon, CA | The Magnolia

Fri Oct 04 | Los Angeles, CA | Walt Disney Concert Hall

Sat Oct 05 | Phoenix, AZ | Arizona Financial Theatre