To celebrate Aretha Franklin's birthday, the upcoming National Geographic limited series, Genius: Aretha, has unveiled a new photo from the show featuring Cynthia Erivo.
In honor of Franklin's birthday, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the network is making a donation to the organization Feeding America in her name.
“During her lifetime, Aretha Franklin supported a large number of charities and advocacy organizations, including Feeding America. To mark what would have been her 78th birthday, and in recognition of the difficult times we are currently in, National Geographic Channel is making a donation to Feeding America in Aretha's name," said the network said in a statement.
The latest Genius installment is being billed as “the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul." Brian Grazer and Ron Howard executive produce the series, which is from Imagine Television and Fox 21. Suzan-Lori Parks is the showrunner and an executive producer. The first two seasons of Genius focused on Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.
Joining Erivo as the Queen of Soul, the Genius: Aretha cast also includes Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Sanai Victoria.
Here's the official description: Genius dramatizes the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators, exploring their extraordinary achievements along with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. The third season of the anthology series will explore 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. Grammy Award winner Franklin was a gospel prodigy and outspoken civil rights champion and is widely considered to be the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honors throughout her career.
The third season of this anthology series is separate from the feature film by MGM starring Jennifer Hudson that is in post-production.