Home Music

HunterGirl from ‘American Idol’: her real name, age, and where she is now

Fortunately, the 'American Idol' alum did not give up on music post-show!

Photo via Eric McCandless/ABC

Back in season 20, Platinum Ticket recipient and second-place finisher HunterGirl captured the hearts of American Idol fans across the country.

Serving as the perfect combination of authenticity and tenacity, HunterGirl is best remembered for her presence as a budding country star, praised by judge Luke Bryan as the “new age Miranda Lambert” and his “favorite female country voice” — this still holds true, nearly two years later.

While she was one of the most prominent contestants on season 20 of American Idol, what is the oh-so talented musician up to now? Keep scrolling to find out everything you need to know about HunterGirl, including her whereabouts as of late.

What is HunterGirl’s real name?

Photo via Mike Rodway

While she is commonly known by her stage name of HunterGirl, the talented singer-songwriter’s real name is Hunter Wolkonowski.

In an exclusive interview with TV Insider, the budding songstress revealed the origin of her stage name:

“My last name is Wolkonowski. Kindergarten was hard. In my hometown, nobody could pronounce my name. Nobody still can. The lady at the front office would say, ‘The girl Hunter — HunterGirl, come to the office.’ There would be all the talent shows where I would be the only girl. There would be boys with the name Hunter. They would say HunterGirl. It kind of stuck as a nickname.”

After reprising her audition song, “Riot,” during the season 20 finale, judge Katy Perry told the Tennessee native that she was going to call her “HunterWoman” from then on, due to the growth that Katy had seen from her throughout her journey on American Idol — how wild is that?

How old is HunterGirl?

HunterGirl was born on May 24, 1998, making the soon-to-be country star just 25 years old in 2023.

American Idol shared a post via Instagram last year to celebrate HunterGirl’s birthday:

“Happy Birthday ✨🎂✨ to our brilliant runner-up with a heart of pure gold, @huntergirlmusic!”

Creating music at such a young age (with years and years to come), HunterGirl has just barely scratched the surface of who she is as an artist — she is sure to be a country music legend in no time!

What is HunterGirl doing post-American Idol?

Since coming in second place on American Idol, HunterGirl has been creating music like no other, really solidifying her position within the country music space.

Most recently, the star-in-the-making dropped “Ain’t About You” on all music streaming platforms, describing it as “the song that kept [her] in Nashville” during a tumultuous time. The musical maestro dished all about the hot new track in an exclusive interview with Celeb Secrets at CMA Fest this past summer:

“This is the song that kept me in Nashville… Nothing was really working out for me in Nashville at that time, and all my friends were getting deals [and] everything was going on, and, you know, I was just wondering, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ so I sat there on my guitar for about 45 minutes and wrote this song, and I’m hoping that anybody that hears it, it touches them.”

Just a few weeks later, HunterGirl took to Instagram to tease “Ain’t About You” to her 185,000 followers as well, prior to its release on August 11:

“I’m writing this because I want to share a really personal song with y’all. I call this song my 45 minute conversation with Jesus. This song kept me in Nashville two years ago, and little did I know a few weeks later everything would change. This song is about not giving up on your dream, whatever that may be. I think we’re all here to do something special, Let me know if you want to hear it.”

Now that the song “Ain’t About You” is out for the world to hear, it looks like HunterGirl will be staying on everyone’s radar until further notice…

The emerging artist has tons of new tunes on the horizon that will prove her to be a force to be reckoned with within the country music scene, many of which she has been teasing during her show-stopping live performances:

“Being on the road has been awesome. It’s so much fun. Like, all of us in a van going to the shows and like loading the gear in and getting to meet the fans after the shows and having merch… I think just watching [my fans] respond to new songs has been so cool during the sets, and I’m just like, ‘Hey! This is a new song. I know y’all don’t know it,’ and they always hang on the ride… I’m really excited to put some of the songs out that I’ve been playing that are new on the road, and hopefully everybody likes them.”

If you are an American Idol fan and loved watching HunterGirl’s journey on season 20, be sure to connect with the rising country star on social media so you do not miss a single release from here on out.

In addition to this, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an official premiere date for season 22 of American Idol — springtime can’t come soon enough!

Melanie Rooten
About the author

Melanie Rooten

Melanie has been writing for We Got This Covered since August of 2023. Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, she graduated from Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma in 2023 with a BA in Journalism. During her free time, she loves going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite TV shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).