'Genius: Aretha' Trailer: Cynthia Erivo Is The Queen Of Soul

The new season of Genius shines the spotlight on Aretha Franklin, with Cynthia Erivo playing the legendary singer. The series is the first of two different dramatized portraits of Franklin's life, the second being the upcoming movie Respect starring Jennifer Hudson. Genius: Aretha will explore Franklin's life and career, and has the distinction of being the first-ever authorized story based on Franklin's life. Watch the Genius: Aretha trailer below.

Genius: Aretha Trailer

Cynthia Erivo stars – and sings – as Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha, the third season of the National Geographic show. The series "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."

Aretha is the "first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life" of Franklin, and features many of the artist's biggest recordings.

"Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl," said Cynthia Erivo when the series was first announced. "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." The cast also includes Courtney B. Vance and David Cross.

Genius: Aretha will premiere on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2020, at 9/8c on National Geographic.