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VIDEO: Cynthia Erivo Stars as Aretha Franklin in the First GENIUS: ARETHA Trailer

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National Geographic presents the next installment of the Emmy-winning global anthology series Genius: Aretha. Tony Award-winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo stars in the upcoming season which is the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul.

Get your first look at Cynthia stepping into the shoes of one of the world's most legendary artists in the first trailer for Genius: Aretha below!

The production will feature many of Franklin's biggest recordings and hit songs from the comprehensive Warner Music catalogue, including "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," "Chain of Fools," "Don't Play That Song," "Since You've Been Gone" and "Baby I Love You." In addition, the series will feature Franklin's performances of "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me," "Freeway of Love" and "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves." Erivo will also be performing many of the songs from Franklin's rich catalogue.

"Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl," said Erivo. "Her strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon. To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance, is an honor. What I know and have learned about what my voice, as an artist, can do and the power in it has been highly influenced by Franklin. I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius."

Erivo is a Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning actress who burst onto West End and Broadway stages in "The Color Purple" and has taken the big screen by storm. She is currently nominated for two Academy Awards for her starring role as Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet, as well as the film's original song, "Stand Up."

On the television side, she will star in the HBO series "The Outsider," based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Erivo will also star alongside Daisy Ridley and David Oyelowo in the anticipated sci-fi thriller "Chaos Walking," from director Doug Liman, and in John Ridley's "Needle in a Timestack" alongside Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto and Leslie Odom Jr. In addition, Erivo is set to executive produce and star in Warner Bros.' musical take on the American folk tale of "Rip Van Winkle."




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