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Holly Grove woman to compete on Sunday’s 'American Idol'

by Remington Miller | February 16, 2023 at 11:58 a.m.
Lucy Love of Holly Grove, Ark. is shown in this photo, courtesy of ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Fourth time is apparently the charm for a Holly Grove woman who will be featured on an “American Idol” episode set to air this Sunday. 

Lucy Love had been turned down by the singing competition tv show three times before. 

But the country will finally have the chance to see her perform in front of celebrity judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

The 28-year-old singer – who goes by her stage name and preferred not to disclose her legal name – hasn’t seen the episode yet. 

“Of course, nerves are going to be present, but overall I’m looking to see the general picture. Like, did I accomplish what’s best for Arkansas? Did I represent good?” said Love, “I am excited to see what I brought.”

Love grew up with her grandmother in the small Monroe County town, while bouncing back and forth to Chicago, she said. Holly Grove’s population shrank from 602 to 460 people between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Census data.

“If you’re in a town of about 600 people and there’s nothing to do, you’re going to find something you’re good at,” Love said. “Music was always that oasis.

“I had to use that as an imagination like ‘oh maybe one day I might could make it out,’” she said. “Like a pipe dream that you kind of have to rely on.”

The singer attended Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, studying fine arts after earning her GED. 

“It was my saving grace because I dropped out of school in the 10th grade,” Love said, “and Arkansas Baptist is where I joined the choir, and that’s what kept me anchored in the college.” 

While she loves all genres of music, Love said she got her start with rhythm and blues. 

“My favorite to perform, I’ve got to say that it would be soul,” she said. “The reason I say that is because a lot of people mistake soul for like this only ethnic type of group, but it’s really about the emotions.

“There’s many aspects of soul that you can kind of dive into; you can mix it with rock and anything.”

About not making the American Idol cut before, Love said she “really had a chip on [her] shoulder about it” and, though she lacked experience competing with so many people, she knew she could do it. 

“I wasn’t going to live my life satisfied, thinking I never accomplished something that I always wanted,” Love said. 

“All you really have in life is opportunities to try. Nobody’s going to promise you that you’re going to win or that it will be easy,” Love said. “Downfalls come with the package. You just have to make up in your mind that it is something you want to accomplish.” 

The singer said she also valued the feedback from the judges she received and the chance to further develop her talent. “Even if you don’t continue [on the show], that’s something that sticks with you for your whole life,” she said. 

Love said she also kept Arkansas in mind when performing. 

“Arkansas is different. Arkansas is versatile,” Love said. “I think that, when people think Arkansas, they immediately go ‘limitations.’ But somewhere in Arkansas there is a female artist that can come out and be signed and speak for Arkansas.

“I plan on really opening up that versatility for Arkansas.”


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