Grace Franklin: 5 Things About Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter, 16, Who Is Trying Out For ‘Idol’

Grace Franklin will be auditioning for the 'American Idol' judges during the season 20 premiere. Here's what you need to know about the teen related to the Queen of Soul!

Grace Franklin
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Image Credit: ABC

The search for the next great superstar continues when American Idol season 20 premieres on February 27. One of the contestants hoping to impress the judges and America with their vocal talents is none other than Grace Franklin. The 16-year-old will be auditioning during the season 20 premiere.

So, who is Grace Franklin? She is related to one of the most defining voices in American history. HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key things to know about Grace as her Idol journey begins.

Grace Franklin
Grace Franklin auditioning on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

1. Grace is Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter. 

Yes, that’s right. The Aretha Franklin is Grace’s grandmother. Grace’s father is Kecalf Cunningham, Aretha’s youngest son. Grace has two siblings: Jordan and Victorie. Grace was very close to her grandmother. On the three-year anniversary of Aretha’s death, Grace posted a tribute to her beloved grandmother. “These three years have felt like a lifetime. I love you,” Grace wrote on Instagram.

2. Grace performed at the ‘Respect’ premiere.

Performing continues to run in the Franklin family! Like her grandmother, Grace is pursuing a career in music. At the 2021 premiere of the Aretha biopic Respect, Grace performed Aretha’s song “Ain’t No Way.” Grace was introduced by Jennifer Hudson, who played Aretha in the film.

3. Grace has been a member of the Detroit Youth Choir.

Grace joined the Detroit Youth Choir in 2019 after watching the choir perform at New Bethel Baptist Church as part of the Queen of Soul’s two-week memorial tribute. Artistic director Anthony White told the Detroit Free Press that Grace is “one of Detroit Youth Choir’s rising stars” and called her a “great singer and great kid who loves the stage.”

4. Grace is an activist. 

Grace takes after her grandmother in more ways than one. Grace provides several links on her Instagram to the causes she cares most about. She advocates helping end period poverty, police violence in America, as well as discrimination and violence against Indigenous women in Canada. She was part of a protest at her high school in 2021.

Grace Franklin
Grace Franklin at the ‘Respect’ premiere in August 2021. (Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock)

5. Grace is on social media.

Grace is active on her Instagram account. She has over 8,000 followers. A quote in her Instagram bio reads, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” She is also on TikTok.

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