'American Idol' Star HunterGirl Is Making Quite a Name for Herself

What do we know about HunterGirl on 'American Idol'? What's her real name? Understanding television's latest singing sensation.

Chris Barilla - Author

May 2 2022, Published 1:18 p.m. ET

Every new season of American Idol brings forth a fresh crop of bright-eyed talent ready to make a name for themselves in the music industry. This time around, the show's 20th season is proving to have quite an impressive group of singers in its ranks — and among them is HunterGirl, who is drawing quite a lot of attention from fans.

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With that being said, what do we know about HunterGirl on American Idol? What is her real name? Keep reading for a breakdown of the details surrounding her personal life.

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What is HunterGirl's real name?

Although millions of American Idol fans now know her by her iconic stage name, HunterGirl's real name is Hunter Wolkonowski. The 23-year-old singing phenom was born on May 30, 1998, in Gruetli-Laager, Tenn. and has had a love for singing ever since she was 3 years old. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., HunterGirl took to singing in downtown Nashville and at the local airport to hone her talents after she completed her education.

According to Grundy County General Sessions Judge William R. (Trey) Anderson III, who is HunterGirl's uncle, he was initially unaware that his niece was an American Idol contestant; but when he found out, he wasn't surprised. "We’ve been expecting it for years, we just didn’t know when it was going to happen," he said, per the official Tennessee Courts website. "She’s worked hard all these years and I’m happy to see it’s happened for her. The whole mountain is excited."

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As an American Idol star, HunterGirl has been wowing judges and fans alike. She is one of only three contestants this season to win a Platinum Ticket and many are speculating that she's a shoo-in for the finale and an overall frontrunner in the competition. With Luke Bryan having previously stated on the show that she has the best female country voice that he's heard in five years, it seems pretty likely that HunterGirl is poised to do big things on American Idol and beyond.

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Where did the name HunterGirl come from?

"HunterGirl came from my sister naming her Hunter," Judge Anderson explained on the state government website. "We all asked, 'Why are you naming her Hunter, that’s a boy’s name?' She wanted to name her Hunter and at that time it was a popular name. There were a couple of boys in school named Hunter, so they started calling her Hunter the Girl and my dad started calling her HunterGirl. It just kind of stuck."

As for her general persona, her uncle noted that HunterGirl has "never met a stranger." "She’s a lot like my dad, her grandpa. She’s just very comfortable on stage," he said. "She always has been since she’s been little."

As a current Top 10 contestant on the show and a refreshing new face on the country scene, it looks like HunterGirl is here to stay.

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