Watch Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter audition for American Idol


Written by:

Oh, this is the sweetest thing, the absolute sweetest thing I have ever seen on American Idol. It’s just good. 

On this season of American Idol, they have all the regular auditioners. The hard-luck stories, the egos, the hot ones, but this season, during the audition phase, we also got to see a very honest, sweet and true moment. 

That moment began when one Grace Franklin nervously entered the room. 

As she introduces herself, she announces her secret: Her grandmother was Aretha “The Queen of Soul” Franklin. 

OK, so we think this child will wail. But does she? No. She explains that she is not her grandmother, that she is her own artist with her own style … and what a style it is. 

She sings like an angel, but a very young angel, a not-quite ready angel. 

And this is when Lionel Ritchie shines. He explains to her that she is more than talented enough (as Katy Perry says repeatedly, she’s got stardust and sparkle all over her) but that she just isn’t experienced enough yet. She must put in the work and not allow a talent like hers to be rushed. He explains that she could burn bright but burn out fast if she rushes. It’s happened so often. 

So, for Grace Franklin, the answer this year was no (and Katy Perry was all kinds of salty about it. She even walks off set!), but it was a no with an invitation to return after the work has been done. 

Grace thanks them with, well, grace, and takes her leave. Bittersweetly. Sadly, but understanding. And we saw a superstar, a legend, have a very human moment with a beautiful artist that we would be smart to remember. Because in a few years? Yeah, in a few years? Grace Franklin is going to have it all. 

Be touched by humanity and selflessness in this video of her audition.

This article was produced and syndicated by