01 March 2022

Katy Perry threatens to quit American Idol after Aretha Franklin’s 15-year-old granddaughter Grace fails audition

01 March 2022

Music legened Aretha Franklin’s teenage granddaughter attempted to follow in her footprints by auditioning for the 20th season of American Idol.

Grace Franklin, 15, clearly impressed judges Katy Perry, 37, Lionel Richie, 72, and Luke Bryan, 45, when she revealed her famous relative.

Lionel went on to share a story about the Respect singer, who died aged 76 from pancreatic cancer in 2018.

“No one knows this about your grandma but I’m going to tell you. When you were walking in the house, you think, ‘Oh we gonna talk about music, are we gonna talk about the arrangement?’ And she goes, ‘Lionel, I’ve got some collard greens I’ve made,’” he fondly recalled.

“You are from a blessed family,” Lionel continued. “I have many messages on my answering machine that I kept.”

“Is it true she kept a little pistol in her purse!?” Roar hit-maker Katy asked.

“No, she did keep her purse all the time,” Grace said, which Lionel agreed with.

“What’s in the purse?” Katy asked, to which Grace replied, “The money.”

For her audition, the teen performed Killing Me Softly With His Song and her grandmother’s song, Ain’t No Way, and while it was a “yes” from Katy, she failed to persuade Lionel and country star Luke.

“It was all a little sleepy and subdued to me,” Luke said of her take on Killng Me Softly.

“I loved your rendition of your grandma’s song,” Katy told Grace once she was finished singing Ain’t No Way.

“Your runs are really, really great,” Luke said. Both Luke and Katy agreed her runs were ‘controlled.’

Lionel said: “I’m going to talk to you as Uncle Richie and your grandma talking to me. Her line was, ‘If you’re not ready for me baby, don’t come near me.’ Now, you’re 15, you’ve got the family lineage, OK? What we need to do is put time and some work in to get it up to par, OK?’

“The age and the voice have got to all come together, and on the same path,” Luke agreed.

The judges then began their vote. Luke was the first to go, telling Grace, “For right now, I’m a no.”

But Perry disagreed, saying: “Grace, I think you have stardust and sparkle all over you, you are beautiful and if you’ll trust us, if you’ll listen to us, and you’ll put in the work, I think we can find that next level with you. You’re a yes from me.”

It all came down to Lionel, who sided with Luke.

“Grace Franklin, I love you. And I think the best thing for you in life is to take a shot at going backwards. Go back and get a running start and come at this again,” he said.

Despite Katy threatening to quit the show in protest, Lionel was resolute.

“Trust me, trust me, trust me, trust me, 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. And I don’t want to be the one to make you tip over and fall at this infant stage,” Lionel explained.

“Grace, you know how I feel about your family and you. But I don’t want this to be a crash and burn. It’s going to be a no from me this time, but I’m optimistic, come back and see us,” he told the disappointed teen before giving her a hug.

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