During the return of season 20’s American Idol, the judges were in for a surprise when they learned that one of the contestants was the granddaughter of the late Aretha Franklin.
Grace Franklin, 15, sang two songs, one of them being “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin.
Before starting the audition, Grace spoke about her grandmother and said, “I don’t think I could fully grasp that she was known worldwide because to me she was always just grandma.”
She added, “I am my own artist, and I have my own voice.”
While singing the first song, “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees, the judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie weren’t too impressed with her performance.
After singing her second song, the judges debated if she should go on to the next round. Bryan voted no, Perry voted yes and told Grace, “I think we can find that next level with you. I’m sure Aretha wasn’t Aretha when she walked into the room but somebody said, ‘Yes, I want to work with you.’”
Lionel Richie was left to make the last decision in which he voted no for the potential singer but told her “Grace, you know how I feel about your family and you. But I don’t want this to be a crash and burn.”
Richie’s decision caused Katy Perry to walk off the set with disappointment. We hope to see Grace Franklin during next year’s audition.