Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter, Grace Franklin, Rejected By ‘American Idol’
For this American Idol hopeful, not even being the granddaughter of the Queen of Soul was enough to get her foot in the door of the iconic singing competition.
Grace Franklin, 15, the granddaughter of Aretha Franklin, was featured in the Sunday premiere episode of American Idol‘s 20th season. For her audition, Grace performed the Lauryn Hill cover of the Roberta Flack classic “Killing Me Softly,” and then did a rendition of her grandmother’s 1968 single “Ain’t No Way.”
Grace said in her interview that she was very close with her grandmother, who died in August 2018. “I don’t think I could fully grasp the fact that she was known worldwide, because to me, she was always just grandma,” she said. Despite her grandmother’s massive fame, Grace said, “I am my own artist and I have my own voice.”
After swapping stories about her grandmother with show judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, Grace began her audition. While her vocal talents were clear, judges Bryan and Richie didn’t feel like she was confident enough yet, with Bryan saying she needed to “add command” to her performance and voting no first. Perry disagreed with their stance and voted yes, leaving Richie as the tiebreaker for Grace’s fate on the show.
Richie seemed to surprise Perry when he voted no as well, telling Grace “I think the best thing for you in life is to take a shot at going backwards. Go back and get a running start and come back at this again.” Perry was incensed by Richie’s rejection, yelling out “I will lay down on the ground. I quit this show. I’m going to the bar,” before walking off the set.
After Perry left, Richie approached Grace and encouraged her further. He said he wanted her to return and audition for a future season, but that she wasn’t ready yet and he didn’t want her to “crash and burn” by approving of her too early.
You can watch Grace’s full audition below:
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