Celebrity
Teen singer catches judges off guard when she tells them she’s Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter
She sounds so much like her grandmother.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
04.29.22

As the granddaughter of an iconic diva, Grace Franklin knew she wanted to be a singer just like her grandma.

After all, her grandmother is no other than the great Aretha Franklin!

YouTube - American Idol
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YouTube - American Idol

Even at a young age, Grace has always been present at her grandma’s concerts and tours. They were inseparable and the little girl wanted nothing but to be a world-renowned singer just like her.

YouTube - American Idol
Source:
YouTube - American Idol

And so, the young dreamer went to audition in the latest season of American Idol, wherein the judges are Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie. She always loved to sing and her parents, Kafi and Kecalf Cunningham, were there to give her the support she needed.

YouTube - American Idol
Source:
YouTube - American Idol

Her father reminded her about how much her grandmother would have been proud of her for stepping up and reaching for her dreams.

“Know that your grandmother is extremely proud of you and watching over you. Just 15, going to American Idol? That’s a big deal,” he shared.

As the granddaughter of a major celebrity, Grace also felt the pressure of filling the big shoes of her late grandma, who was a celebrated songstress all around the world.

“I feel like people expect me to sing, like, exactly like her, but I’m my own artist and I have my own voice,” Grace said.

YouTube - American Idol
Source:
YouTube - American Idol

It was time for Grace to walk into the audition room.

Grace stepped into the audition room and met the judges. As they asked her about who she was and where she came from, she casually said that she was Aretha’s daughter. Of course, the judges went nuts at their discovery.

“Woah, stop right there! That’s your grandma!” Lionel instantly interjected.

YouTube - American Idol
Source:
YouTube - American Idol

Katy Perry, on the other hand, wanted to know one thing:

“Is it true she kept a little pistol in her purse?”

Grace laughed and told her it wasn’t true but told her as well that her grandmother actually kept her purse with her all the time. The judges and Grace talked a bit more about Grace and her memories with Artha, but then, the moment of truth finally came.

YouTube - American Idol
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YouTube - American Idol

Grace prepared to sing her heart out.

The young woman told the judges that she will be singing “Killing Me Softly”, the Lauryn Hill version. And so, she began to sing a sweet version of the song, that left the judges glued to her performance. They liked her song, but in the end, it was not enough to impress the trio.

Lionel shared how she looked really nervous, all because she kept her eyes closed the whole time. Luke, on the other hand, identified her performance as “a little sleepy and subdued.”

YouTube - American Idol
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YouTube - American Idol

Katy wanted to hear more from Grace, after all, it was American Idol and she could go all out as much as she wanted to in order to impress the judges and the country. For that reason, Katy asked the teen to sing another song.

Grace chose to sing her grandmother’s hit song “Ain’t No Way” as her second song.

YouTube - American Idol
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YouTube - American Idol

After her performance, Luke commented on how great her runs are. Katy Perry also shared how she found her runs to be so controlled. But, Lionel was looking for more from the aspiring singer.

YouTube - American Idol
Source:
YouTube - American Idol

In the end, Luke and Lionel had to say “No” while Katy wanted Grace to continue on her journey to Hollywood. For Lionel, who knows her family very well, taking a step backward, for now, is the best shot for Grace to take. However, he challenged the young woman to return stronger.

YouTube - American Idol
Source:
YouTube - American Idol

Although Grace did not get in on her first audition, her sweet song is still a preview of what the young woman can do. Who knows? She might come back after a few years, stronger and fully ready to win.

Witness Grace Franklin’s sweet performance by watching the video below.

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By Caryl Jane Espiritu
hi@sbly.com
Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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