Type to search

Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter Grace Franklin Reveals Whether She’ll Return To ‘Idol’ After Being Rejected


Grace Franklin is considering the future of her singing career and contemplating a possible ‘American Idol’ return after not making the cut for the show.

Grace Franklin, the 16-year-old granddaughter of late singing legend Aretha Franklin, is opening up after she didn’t make the cut for American Idol‘s 20th season — a moment that shocked TV viewers. Grace, who joined her dad, Aretha’s son Kecalf Cunningham, for an interview with TMZ, said she was definitely disappointed by the rejection, but kept the words of judge Lionel Richie in mind.

Lionel told Grace he didn’t want her stumbling into her career quickly — something that can plague young singers. She said she took his sentiments in sincerely, knowing he was coming from a good, grounded place.

“I’m a good artist, I know that, but I do know I need to work on some things,” she told the outlet. Kecalf added that he couldn’t be more proud of his daughter, saying that she was “bold” for stepping outside of her comfort zone to chase her dreams. 

The teen shared, however, that auditioning again for the competitive singing show is unlikely, saying she’d rather release some music of her own and continue to work on her voice in the meantime. 

Moreover, Grace shared that producers and artists have reached out to her since her audition and are definitely looking to collaborate. Even Jennifer Hudson, who just played her grandmother in the biopic Respect, contacted her and told her to keep working and keep her head held high! 

Grace Franklin
Grace Franklin auditions for ‘American Idol’ (ABC/Eric McCandless).

Grace has two siblings, Jordan and Victorie, who are undoubtedly supportive in her journey. Grace was also very close to her grandmother. posting a loving tribute to her on the three-year anniversary of her death. “These three years have felt like a lifetime. I love you,” Grace wrote on Instagram.

In addition to her Idol audition, Grace has made her way onto other stages, performing her grandmother’s hit “Ain’t No Way” at the 2021 premiere of Respect. That’s where she made a connection with former Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson who played Aretha in the movie. Jennifer, who finished seventh when she competed on the show, definitely knows a thing or two about not making it the first time and going on to have an illustrious, successful career!