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Sunday's season 20 premiere of American Idol started off with a bang as Grace Franklin, the granddaughter of legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin demanded some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.


Grace, 15, granddaughter of the late Aretha Franklin put her own singing skills to the test in front of judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie.

Grace shared her relationship with the judges up front and opened up about her special bond with her grandmother.

"I was really close with my grandma. I got to see her all the time. I used to travel with her a lot," Grace said. "I don't think I could fully grasp the fact that she was known worldwide, because to me she was always just 'Grandma.'"

Grace explained that she wanted to develop her own sound and style apart from that of her grandma.

"I feel like people expect me to sing exactly like her, but I am my own artist and I have my own voice," she said.

Franklin, ambitiously chose to sing Lauryn Hill's version of Killing Me Softly for her audition.

While Grace was technically sound in her performance, Luke Bryan thought it was lacking life calling it "sleepy and subdued."

Perry asked Grace to sing another song and she chose her grandmother's Ain't No Way.

Bryan however, was still unconvinced and ended up voting "No."

Katy on the other hand said she saw potential in 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, if you'll put in the work, I think we can find that next level with you."

Left up to Lionel Richie, he ultimately felt Grace was not ready for the big stage yet telling her,

"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 back at this again."

Katie, clearly unhappy with Lionel's decision, began to exclaim,

"Give her a shot, give her a chance!" yelled Perry. "I'm sure Aretha wasn't Aretha when she walked into the room, but somebody said, 'Yes, I want to work with you. I want to develop you.'"
Perry continued, "I will lay down on the ground. I quit this show. I'm going to the bar," before she walked off the set.

Richie then got up to comfort Grace and give her a hug encouraging her to return in the future.


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