Aretha Franklin's Granddaughter Auditioned for 'American Idol' Season 20
Listen the 15-year-old’s take on Lauryn Hill’s version of “Killing Me Softly” here.
Also having a passion for music, the 15-year-old auditioned for the show and sang Lauryn Hill‘s version of “Killing Me Softly.” Before she started to sing in front of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, the young Franklin briefly talked about her relationship with her grandmother. “I was really close [with her]. I got to see her all the time [and] used to travel with her a lot,” she said. She also touched base on her grandmother’s superstardom, adding: “I don’t think I could fully grasp that she was known worldwide, [because] to me she was always just grandma.”
Franklin also mentioned that she wanted to keep her family name distinct from her singing abilities: “I feel like people expect me to sing exactly like her — but I am my own artist, and I have my own voice.” After her audition, the judging panel responded to her performance with mixed reviews, but ultimately decided to give her another chance. She then chose to sing Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t Know Way,” which garnered a similar result.
Bryan gave her a “no,” whereas Perry was all-in. “I think we can find that next level with you,” she said. Richie sided with Bryan, which resulted in the 15-year-old not being able to go to Hollywood. He concluded: “Grace Franklin, I love you. Trust me, if you go and come back and put the shyness behind you and the voice in front of you, you are going to be something amazing.” Richie also urged her to return in the future, stating: “I don’t want to be the one to make you tip over and fall at this infant state.”
Watch Grace Franklin’s full audition below.