The third season of the highly anticipated limited series Genius: Aretha starring Tony, Emmy, and Grammy award-winning actress Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, will premiere on National Geographic Channel on March 22.
The third season of the critically acclaimed series will explore Aretha Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career, as well as the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world. Franklin was a gospel prodigy, an outspoken civil rights champion and widely considered the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honours throughout her career.
Genius: Aretha is the first-ever, definitive, and only authorised scripted series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul. Without knowing how to read music, Franklin taught herself to play the piano, and at the young age of 12 began to record songs and sing on gospel tours with her father.
She signed her first record deal at age 18 with Columbia Records and moved to Atlantic Records in 1966 where she recorded many of her most iconic songs. In 1979, she began a 40-year friendship and partnership with Clive Davis that led several hit songs, including ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),’ her career-best duet with George Michael.
The legendary singer is one of the world’s bestselling musical artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold globally during her career. Her voice was identified as a “natural resource” by her home state of Michigan.
The series cast also includes the Emmy-winning Courtney B Vance as Aretha’s father, CL Franklin; Malcolm Barrett as Ted White, Franklin is first husband and business manager; David Cross as legendary music producer Jerry Wexler.
Patrice Covington and Rebecca Naomi Jones portray Erma and Carolyn Franklin, respectively, as Aretha’s sisters and frequent background singers, who supported and collaborated with their famous sibling, and Steven Norfleet as older brother Cecil Franklin, who stepped in as Aretha’s manager following her divorce from Ted White.
Back-to-back episodes of Genius: Aretha will air in Malaysia on National Geographic Channel (Astro CH551 HD and Unifi TV CH508) from March 22 to 25 at 9am and 10am respectively with a primetime repeat at 9pm and 10pm respectively.