In the days before her grandmother died, Victorie Franklin shared her sadness on Twitter. At 18, the daughter of Aretha Franklin’s son Kecalf ‘KPoint’ Cunningham, is a young woman of faith, which she joyfully shares on her social media and in song.
And as the world lost an icon and a legend when Aretha passed away Thursday, Victorie reminded people that she lost her grandma.
Here’s what you need to know about Victorie:
1. Victorie Posted a Poignant & Personal Tribute to Her Grandmother on Twitter
“I have many memories of me coming into her home and she would be playing the piano and singing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling, but God is telling me that she is at peace. Today we lost an icon, a legend, but today I lost my grandma. I love u and imma make u proud ?”
2. A Talented Singer, Victorie Was Encouraged & Coached by the Queen of Soul & Recorded Music With Her
Victorie plays piano and sings. She has videos posted on YouTube, Twitter & SoundCloud. And, she recorded songs as a background vocalist with Aretha Franklin this spring. The soul diva said the album was being produced by Stevie Wonder. It’s not clear what the album’s status is now. Wonder visited with Aretha two days before she died.
“Okay, you gotta hit those notes on the head,” Aretha tells Victorie as they record songs for Aretha’s album just a few months ago, in April of 2018. Background singers were recording vocals for ‘What’s Going On,’ Aretha’s interpretation of the iconic Marvin Gaye hit from 1971. “Okay now sing those same parts falsetto,” Aretha coaches the vocalists including her granddaughter. Aretha told journalist and family friend Evrod Cassimy that the album, as of then, had no title but Stevie Wonder was coming in to record and it was then, a work in progress.
Aretha said that Wonder would not only produce the record but perform as well and added that Jamie Foxx was also going to be on the album.
3. Victorie Was a Standout Varsity Basketball Player at Bloomfield Hills High School, Was a Member of the Black Student Alliance & Hoped to be Homecoming Queen
Seven times awarded ‘Player of the Game,’ Victorie, who played varsity basketball for the Bloomfield Hills High School as a sophomore until her senior year, was ranked 30th in Michigan and 1,120 nationally. Her stats made the national averages pale in comparison. In her three-year varsity career, she played 62 games and averaged 10 points a game.
Victorie, a cat lover and major Aaliyah fan, hoped that her skills on the court, plus her beauty and brains would get her voted homecoming queen. It’s likely her grandmother, the queen-in-real-life , was in her court.
Victorie was also a member of the Black Student Alliance on the high school campus where she and other members raised money for Black History Month events.
She often posted to Twitter about BSA goings-on and she encouraged people to get involved.
4. Victoire Performed at the BET Honors in 2014. Her Grandmother Beams in the Audience
Victorie sang Tamela Mann’s ‘Take Me to the King’ in honor of her grandmother. It was reported that Aretha was giving Victorie “one-on-one vocal coaching and she thinks Victorie has a rather bright future and a big career ahead of her.”
Aretha said at the time, “She spoke about her granddaughter recently, saying: ‘She’s coming along very well. I came down to see her rehearse, and she brought tears to my eyes.”
She has also performed at family functions including her grandmother Aretha’s Christmas party in 2016.
5. A Sophomore at Howard University, Victorie Performs With Her Father ‘KPoint’ on Beatbox. She Also Has an Album Coming Out
Victorie, a Howard University rising sophomore, says she’s a “daddy’s girl.”
She and her father have a few videos of them freestyling and covering songs with her doing the singing vocals and her dad, whose stage name is ‘KPoint’ has the beats.
Victorie shares photos of her family and as a Christian who has thanked her family for instilling those values, thanks them too for breaking their backs to give her whatever she’s needed in life. She’s a loving and grateful girl.
Victorie teased on Twitter that she’s been recording an album and is looking forward to it being released.