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Cynthia Erivo Cast As Aretha Franklin In National Geographic's 'Genius' Series

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Singer and actress Cynthia Erivo has been cast to portray Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in a new anthology series chronicling the legend's life.

National Geographic's "Genius: Aretha" is slated to premiere in spring 2020. The series will mark the first-ever, definitive scripted limited series on Franklin's life.

The show will feature some of Franklin's biggest hits, 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." Some of the songs will be performed by Erivo.

"Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl," Tony-winner Erivo said in a statement. "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."

She added, "To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance, is an honor,"

Franklin died of a rare form of cancer in August 2018.

Erivo won a Tony award for her lead role in Broadway's The Color Purple musical and has also been cast as Harriet Tubman in the upcoming biopic Harriet.

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