Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter Auditions for ‘American Idol’ & Causes Friction Between Judges
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Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter Auditions for ‘American Idol’ & Causes Friction Between Judges

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Auditions for the talent competition show American Idol have started, and a line in the sand has already been drawn between judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie who disagreed about the talents of the granddaughter of the Queen of Soul.

According to Entertainment Weekly, things heated up when the granddaughter of legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin showed up at the tryouts. Grace Franklin, who shares the genes of one of the world’s best vocalists in history, emerged in front of the American Idol judges.

CNN reported that Franklin, who is just 15-years-old, appeared in the Sunday episode of American Idol and belted out two songs for the judges. She did a rendition of The Fugees’ Lauryn Hill-led version of Roberta Flack’s song, “Killing Me Softly,” and also sang one of her grandmother’s hits, “Ain’t No Way.”

According to Franklin, being kin to a singing legend leads to high expectations.

“I got to see her all the time. I used to travel with her a lot,” Grace said. “I don’t think I could fully grasp the fact that she was known worldwide because, to me, she was always just grandma. I feel like people expect me to sing exactly like her, but I’m my own artist and I have my own voice.”

After performing, the three judges, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, voted on whether Franklin should be allowed to get to the next round. As Bryan decided against it, Perry was all for her advancing, so Richie, as the deciding vote, went with Bryan in denying Franklin entry, following in her grandmother’s footsteps.

Richie gave Franklin some friendly advice to advance her career.

“Go back and get a running start and come back at this again,” Richie said. As the Hello singer was getting the side-eye from Perry, he turned to her and said, “Are you putting pressure on me?”

To which she responds, “She’s got stardust. Give her a shot. Give her a chance. 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.’ “

As Richie gave the young singer some sound advice, encouraging her not to give up, in a fit of frustration,  Perry protests, and states, “I will lay down on the ground. I quit this show. I’m going to the bar,” and walked off the stage.

Richie gave her more words of wisdom as he embraced her: “Grace, you know how I feel about your family and you, but I don’t want this to be a crash and burn,” he said. “It’s gonna be a ‘no’ from me this time, but an optimistic, ‘Come back and see us,’ OK? Make that work, OK?”

Do you think Richie should have given the young hopeful a shot?


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