Music lovers remember Aretha Franklin as the iconic Queen of Soul, but to Grace Franklin, she was more than just a powerhouse singer.
“I just called her grandma,” Grace, 16, said in an interview that aired on TODAY Friday.
Growing up in Detroit, the former “American Idol” hopeful enjoyed weekly visits with her grandmother, and she explained, despite Franklin’s fame and glamorous stage presence, those visits were filled with down-to-earth fun.
"Just like watching TV sometimes, a lot of times we'd watch 'Family Feud,'" Grace recalled.
And just like grandmas everywhere, the singer who demanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T on the stage enjoyed playing along as they watched the popular game show.
Grace also revealed that Franklin’s impressive talents weren’t limited to music. Her grandma was the queen of soul food, too, and she still remembers her best dish.
"Probably her macaroni," she said with a smile. "Her macaroni was so good."
Franklin tried to pass down those cooking skills, but Grace said the lessons didn't stick. She did, however, inherit Franklin's singing gifts.
In fact, the teen now regularly performs in the very same space the "Think" singer got her own start.
"It’s crazy to think that a lot of the same people that were with her when she was younger, in the same church, are watching me now," she said of her performances at Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church.
Though Franklin died in 2018, at the age of 76, she lives on in those performances.
"I feel her presence with me anytime I perform," Grace noted. "I always think of how she used to prepare in her dressing room and just her words of encouragement whenever me and my siblings ever perform — to always remember that God is with you on stage and that whatever happens, you know that you’re great."
While Grace didn't get a chance to take her greatness to Hollywood after her recent "American Idol" audition, she's still belting out her best with the Detroit Youth Choir. And if she wants another shot on a TV talent competition, that could be in her future, too.
After watching her interview Friday morning, TODAY's Carson Daly, who hosts "The Voice," said that Grace has "an open invitation" to come on his show.
“I have a feeling she has more than enough to do well there," he raved. "We would love to have her."