HunterGirl; Photo by Easton Schirra/American Idol/ABC
HunterGirl; Photo by Easton Schirra/American Idol/ABC

LISTEN: ‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Recipient HunterGirl Releases Debut Single “Red Bird”

HunterGirl released her debut single “Red Bird” on Friday, May 13. 

The Platinum ticket recipient and Top 5 American Idol contestant released “Red Bird,” a track that was co-written by HunterGirl (Hunter Wolkonowski) alongside Austin Goodloe and Matt McKinney and produced by Jimmy Robbins.

The track finds HunterGirl begging for a visit from a red bird to help her through tough times. “Red Bird” brings to life the superstition that if you see a cardinal, one of your loved ones in Heaven are paying you a visit to let you know that they are watching over you and that you are not alone.

“My momma told me when I was a kid / When a red bird flies close your eyes / Makes a wish here it is / Right around the time my faith went missing / I was praying for an angel, but the wings looked different / God if you’re listening could you send me one on down,” HunterGirl sings on the chorus.

Watch the HunterGirl’s debut single below.

The Tennessee native revealed that she cried while co-writing the song as the message behind the tune means so much to her.

“Red birds have been a big sign in my life since I was a little girl,” HunterGirl explained. “There is a saying that states, ‘When a cardinal appears around you, it is one of your family members in Heaven coming down to visit you.’ My mom also told me when I was younger that if I made a wish on a red bird, when it flies my wish will come true.”

She continued, “The evening of the first episode of American Idol, I was driving to my family’s house terrified. I was so scared about being on television. What if people don’t like me? What if I am not good enough? I was talking to God and I said, ‘I know that you know everything is going to be okay, but could you just let me know?’ Right after I asked that question, a red bird flew across my window and more flew as I drove down the road. It was like he was saying everything was going to be alright. The day after the episode, I came back to Nashville to write this song with two of my friends, Matt McKinney and Austin Goodloe. This is a song that is from my heart. I hope that this song can help someone like it helped me when I wrote it.”

READ: Re-Live HunterGirl’s ‘American Idol’ Journey: From Making History Receiving The First-Ever Platinum Ticket To Now

The song, which was added to Spotify’s New Music Nashville, continues to climb the iTunes Country Chart and currently sits at No. 4.

From the moment American Idol viewers first met HunterGirl, it was clear that she was going to go far in the competition. From her undeniable country vocals to her charming personality, Huntergirl has everything it takes to become the next American Idol.

The Tennessee native has been a standout contestant throughout the 20th season of the show. After she auditioned with a cover of Rascal Flatts’ “Riot,” Huntergirl was deemed a “new age Miranda Lambert” by Luke Bryan.

“It’s my fifth year doing this and that is my favorite female country voice I’ve heard in five years,” Bryan gushed following her audition.

Huntergirl was the first-ever contestant to earn the coveted Platinum ticket when she had the opportunity to perform at Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge in Downtown Nashville.

After taking the stage to perform Lambert’s “Bluebird,” Huntergirl received the surprise of a lifetime when the judges awarded her with a platinum ticket.

“This not only means you get to go to Hollywood, but you get to relax for one day, rest your voice and size up the competition and figure out how to become the next American Idol,” Katy Perry explained.

Throughout the season, the Platinum ticket recipient covered songs like Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” Rascal Flatts’ “Banjo,” Miranda Lambert’s “Vice” Sugarland’s “Baby Girl,” Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and more. 

The seasoned musician and singer/songwriter also wowed judges with her original track, “Heartbreak Down,” which appears on her recently released EP, One Day.

“That is an original song. This is when you pull out those tricks because you are an artist. I put my money on you girl,” Katy Perry gushed.

“If I had to find one word to kind of give you your place here, it’s [that] you’re a natural,” Richie added. “As a writer, I give you an A+ with that one because I’m singing the second verse and I realize, hold on wait a minute that’s an original. It’s that relatable. Luke said it right, enjoy the ride.”

American Idol returns on Sunday, May 15, at 8/7c, where HunterGirl and the rest of the Top 5 will perform their debut singles and receive advice from American Idol alum, Carrie Underwood.

The eight-time GRAMMY award winner and the Top 5 will be live from Underwood’s Las Vegas Residency at Resorts World Theater.

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