Cynthia Erivo Channels Aretha Franklin for Nat Geo's First Female 'Genius'

Genius Aretha Franklin
Fall Preview
National Geographic/Richard DuCree

Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo channeling Aretha Franklin — that's a musical combo that deserves our respect.

Nat Geo Reveals First Look at Cynthia Erivo in 'Genius: Aretha' (VIDEO)See Also

Nat Geo Reveals First Look at Cynthia Erivo in 'Genius: Aretha' (VIDEO)

The limited series will explore Franklin's musical genius and career.

The two great artists come together in the third edition of the National Geographic franchise Genius, which — after spotlighting Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso — honors Franklin as its first American and first female.  

"The idea," says Erivo (Harriet), "is to show what Aretha was able to come through to create the music we know today."

Genius Aretha Cynthia Erivo

(Credit: National Geographic/Richard DuCree)

The eight-part limited series (scheduled for fall despite a shutdown late in production) covers much of Franklin's tumultuous life, punctuated by her most loved songs, including Erivo's favorites, "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" and "Ain't No Way." Sounds like a can't-miss.

Genius: Aretha, Coming Fall 2020, National Geographic