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The debate when it comes to nepotism in the music industry is one that’s garnered valid arguments from both sides. While many believe it’s unfair for the relative of a global star to use their family connection as a way to get instant fame (see: Jaden Smith), others see that same connection as a blessing towards success that was probably always meant for you in the first place (see: Janet Jackson).

In the case of Grace Franklin, granddaughter to the late Queen Of Soul herself Aretha Franklin, a recent audition on the hit singing competition series American Idol had some saying she deserved better by the show and others wondering why she doesn’t just get a deal off the strength of her famous last name.




Although possessing a bubbly spirit and a pleasant vocal tone — granted, nowhere near the powerhouse range of her grandmother — Grace unfortunately failed to impressed judges Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan enough to send her to the famous Hollywood round. Grace and her dad, Aretha’s youngest son Kecalf Cunningham, spoke with TMZ  after the episode aired recently to say she understood the decision. “I’m a good artist,” she told the outlet confidently, while also adding, “I know that, but I do know I need to work on some things.” She gave props to Ritchie specifically for his guidance and ultimate decision, which was influenced primarily by his hope that she wouldn’t faze out too early in her career due to age and inexperience.

As of now, Grace has no plans to audition on Idol for at least a few years while she develops her voice and focuses on writing music.



While Grace herself showed, well, grace in accepting her minor defeat, the millions watching at home definitely felt a bit more perturbed that she was passed over so early in the audition process.

Take a look below at some of the reactions to Grace Franklin not making it past the American Idol auditions, and let us know if you think the judges were right or if she should just go ahead and work on being Aretha Jr. on her own terms:



Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter Not Making It Past ‘American Idol’ Auditions Gets Mixed Feedback  was originally published on

1. As a singer, I have to agree with ⁦ @LionelRichie ⁩ b/c if she gets out there with singers more skilled, it could crush her spirit. She needs a singing coach to help her find her true voice. From there, God will anoint the rest! I’m rooting for her

via @PettifordQueen

2. Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter auditioned for ‘American Idol’ and sang one of the R&B legend’s songs She CAN sing-Why not let the audience decide rather than let Judges kick her out BEFORE show aired?Smells like envy from Judges,dissin her when she clearly IS beautiful&talanted

via @TulsieYO

3. It is kinda shocking that the Idol judges said no to Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter because that’s the type of “story” you’d expect the show to hype up as long as they could, but it was the right decision. Her audition showed talent but it also showed lack of experience. I hate When 15/16 year olds who clearly aren’t ready yet get sent too far through the competition based on “potential” that’s not gonna shine through until they have another year or two of experience. Let her come back when she can truly shine.

via @JojoDaniellaOti

4. Turning down Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter on American idol was a good move. She’s just really not ready and she may never be ready. We’ll see how it goes. So Katy Perry he needs to chill out cuz they did the right thing. You didn’t

via @bunkers3richard

5. If you’re the granddaughter of ARETHA FRANKLIN, why are you on American Idol?… Girl, use that nepotism better

via @Ratchethoex

6. How can y’all expect people to take you seriously when you let that fake squeaky voice girl through to Hollywood but deny Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter, who has talent but needs a little development? What joke! #AmericanIdol

via @joyshel5

7. Aretha Franklin’s 15-year-old granddaughter just bombed on American Idol. They let her sing two songs. The poor kid tried hard, but she just isn’t a very good vocalist. She got sent home. Oh well.

via @KwikWarren

8. I hate hate hate. HATE it when people play the family card. “I’m Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter.” Who cares. Maybe drop that info after you got the golden ticket. Quit asking for special treatment. Watch her get a ticket. Such BS.

via @MissouriJayhawk

9. #AmericanIdol    Very disappointed with you tonight by sending Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter home tonight. I watched contestants before her that should have never made it through. Her talent would have really opened as she progressed on the show. Very bad decision.

via @curly1021

10. why is aretha franklin’s granddaughter on american idol. there has to be better ways to get a music deal as a relative of someone famous

via @aquafreshXTREME