Sometimes talent runs in the family. There are multiple cases of children or grandchildren of famous actors or musicians following in their parents’ or grandparents’ footsteps. One such instance happened during the auditions for the singing competition “American Idol.”
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan were the judges at the table when in walked a 15-year-old girl named Grace. When Richie asked her, “How did you get here to us?” she responded, “My grandma is Aretha Franklin.” That news surprised and impressed the judges. It prompted Richie to tell Grace about a memory he had of her grandmother.
Backstage, Grace explained that she never really understood how famous her grandmother was. She said, “To me she was always just grandma.” Grace’s parents also helped encourage her for her audition telling her, “Your grandmother is extremely proud of you and watching over you.”
Being related to someone famous obviously does not guarantee that you’ll become famous. While being Franklin’s granddaughter impressed the judges, it did not automatically mean that she would make it through the audition process and on to the next round. No, she had to sing and let the judges decide if she had inherited her grandmother’s talent or not.
Grace sang “Killing Me Softly,” and the judges were undecided. Perry asked her to sing another song, so she sang “Ain’t No Way.” Then it was time for the judges to decide. Bryan voted no. Perry voted yes. Then it was Richie’s turn. His decision made Perry so upset that she walked off the stage while Grace was still standing there. Richie went over to Grace to explain his decision.
Watch the video below to hear Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter audition for “American Idol,” and to hear the judges’ reactions to her performance for yourself.