Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Duets With Willie Nelson's Son During CMT Memorial Concert

The pair performed "Lay Me Down," Willie and Loretta’s first and only collaboration.

Larry McCormack/Getty Images
Larry McCormack/Getty Images

Country stars of all generations paid tribute to Loretta Lynn last night, but the pairing of her granddaughter, Emmy Russell, with Lukas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson, felt particularly meaningful.

"She always stood in the corner and called me on stage. I'd sing a song—one original and one that everybody knew," Russell recalled during CMT's Coal Miner's Daughter: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn, which aired live from the Grand Ole Opry. "It's the first time that she's not here to look at me with her proud eyes. It's just special. Thank you for listening."

Emmy, the daughter of Loretta's daughter Patsy, was then joined on stage by Lukas, another talented descendant of country music royalty. Together they performed "Lay Me Down," Willie and Loretta's first and only collaboration from her 2016 album, Full Circle.

The song, about finding peace after a long life, was fitting for the memorial. They walked off the stage amidst a standing ovation from the audience.

The broadcast, hosted by Jenna Bush Hager, also included performances by Alan Jackson, Wynonna, Larry Strickland, The Highwomen, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Margo Price, and Jack White. Sissy Spacek, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Taylor Swift also made appearances.

Loretta died on October 4 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, at the age of 90. Over the course of her six decade career, she was inducted into more music Halls of Fame than any female recording artist. The four-time-Grammy-winner became the first woman to be named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1972 and sold more than 45 million records worldwide.

CMT will broadcast two commercial-free encore airings of the memorial concert. Tune in on Wednesday November 2 at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday November 6 at 11 a.m. ET.

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