15-year-old Grace Franklin is following her legendary grandmother’s footsteps.
The young teen, who is the granddaughter of the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, showcased her powerful singing chops during Sunday’s episode of American Idol. Grace revealed her relation to the “Respect” hitmaker right before she performed Aretha’s “Ain’t No Way” and Lauryn Hill’s smash hit “Killing Me Softly” for the judges.
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“Stop right there. That is your grandma?” Lionel Richie asked with amazement. He then gushed about the iconic singer and the memories he shared with her.
“No one knows this about your grandma, but I’m going to tell you! When you walked into the house, you would think, oh we’re going to talk about the music, we are going to talk about the arrangement, and she would go ‘Lionel, I got some collard greens I’ve made!.. Omg, you are from a blessed family,” Richie said with joy.
Unfortunately, young Grace didn’t leave with a golden ticket to Hollywood. Richie and fellow American Idol judge Luke Bryan voted no after her performance. Katy Perry, on the other hand, convinced the two stars to have a change of heart after voting yes for the burgeoning singer, noting how she had “sparkle” to her deliverance.
“Give her a chance. I am sure Aretha wasn’t Aretha when she walked in the room, but somebody said ‘yes, I want to work with you. I want to develop you. You got something,’” said Perry, but that just wasn’t enough to convince Richie and Bryan.
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“Go back and put the shyness behind you and the voice in front of you, you are going to be something amazing,” said Richie.
During her interview segment on the show, Grace recalled what it was like to travel and be in the presence of Aretha throughout her career.
“I don’t think I could fully grasp the fact that she was famous worldwide because to me she was always grandma… I was really close to my grandma,” Grace explained. “I got to see her all the time. I got to travel with her a lot.”
Although she hopes to live up to the legacy of the iconic soul singer, Grace said she wants to remind fans that she is her “own artist” with her own unique voice.
Check out the audition below. How do you think Grace did?
This article was originally posted on MadameNoire.com