Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter auditioned for American Idol, sent home early

Grace Franklin on American Idol
Grace Franklin on American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

The season premiere of American Idol took place on Sunday night on ABC and there was a shocking person auditioning that night.

Grace Franklin, the 15-year-old granddaughter of one of soul music’s greatest singers, Aretha Franklin, showed up.

This was a huge moment for one of the judges.

Lionel Richie was a close friend of Aretha Franklin and he referred to himself as Uncle Lionel when he was talking to Grace.

Lionel was also the reason that Grace did not move on to the Hollywood rounds and went home without a Golden Ticket.

Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter auditions for American Idol

Grace Franklin came into the room and when he introduced herself to the judges, she said she was Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter.

This shocked them all, including Lionel Richie, who was friends with her grandmother but did not know Grace.

Grace then sang the Lauryn Hill version of Killing Me Softly. The judges were not sold and wanted to hear the girl sing something that pushed her more.

This is the big difference between American Idol now and when it started with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. These judges don’t just shut down a singer. They push to see if there is more there.

Grace responded by singing one of her grandmother’s songs, Ain’t No Way.

It wasn’t enough.

Luke Bryan was the first to vote and he said that his vote was no, at this time, but he said she should go back and keep working on her voice and come back next year.

Katy Perry said that she saw stardust on Grace and wanted to help her blossom on the show.

That left it up to Lionel Richie, which put him in a tough spot.

Lionel Richie sends Grace Franklin home

Lionel Richie agreed with Luke Bryan and he had a personal reason why.

He didn’t want to bring in Grace and then watch her fall over the cliff. He wanted her to be prepared for the competition and that meant returning later.

“Grace Franklin, I love you and I think the best thing for you in life is to take a shot at going backwards,” Lionel said. “Go back and get a running start and come at this again.”

Katy Perry fought him on it and tried to change his mind.

“I’m sure Aretha wasn’t Aretha when she walked into the room, but somebody said, ‘Yes, I want to work with you, I want to develop you, you’ve got something,'” Katy said. “She’s got stardust on her.”

Lionel still rejected the idea and Katy Perry walked off the set.

That is when Lionel walked up to Grace and gave her his advice.

“Put the work in,” he said, before hugging her. He said she should return and would be better for it.

American Idol airs on Sunday nights on ABC at 8/7c.

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2 years ago

I agree that Grace should be concentrating on vocal control and dynamics. With that said, she can come back to Idol with a greater chance to climb the ladder at least into the later rounds. Stardust or not, she needs the coaching of a professional to bring out her full potential. Katy Perry should be the person to give her that.