The undisputed Queen of Soul and Christian Singer Aretha Franklin's life will be the focus of a new National Geographic show that will run back to back for four days beginning March 21, 2021, a report said.
The Christian Headlines said the National Geographic will premiere for its new TV anthology season a new show based on Aretha Franklin's life, faith, and Gospel roots entitled, "Genius: Aretha."
Award winning actress Cynthia Erivo will be playing as Franklin in the series that depicts one of the greatest singers of all time. Erivo will be joined by an award-winning cast that includes Courtney Vance who'll be Franklin's father, Malcolm Barret as Franklin's first husband Ted White, and David Cross as Franklin's producer Jerry Wexler, The Christian Headlines said.
In addition, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Patrice Covington are also part of the star-studded cast as Franklin's sisters Erma and Carolyn with Sanai Victoria as the young Aretha, according to Deadline.
As per Deadline, "Genius: Aretha" will be the first-ever of its kind for being the "definitive and only-authoirzed scripted limited series on the life" of Aretha Franklin. The show is said to be premiered by National Geograpic in 172 countries and 43 languages with 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama awardee Suzan-Lori Parks as showrunner and executive producer. Parks is joined by Franklin's long-time associate Sony Music Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Clive Davis and Atlantic Records Chairman Craig Kallman as executive producers, Deadline said.
"Genius: Aretha," Deadline added, is National Geographic's third installment for its anthology series. It will present "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."
The Christian Headlines said Franklin started her career in music at the age of 12 when she "couldn't even read music but nonetheless taught herself how to play the piano." Her Father was Pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where she would sing as early as the age of 10. Considered a child prodigy, she recorded her first album entitled "Songs of Faith" at the age of 14 under JVB Records and the management of her father.
In trivia, the Christian Post revealed that Franklin was already a mother of two when Songs of Faith was released. She gave birth to Clarence, her first son, at the age of 12, which was followed two years later by Edward. She had two more sons, Teddy Richards and Kecalf Cunningham, who were born in 1964 and 1970, respectively.
National Geographic released the show's Chain of Fools Trailer last February 10 in its YouTube Channel calling on subscriptions to their "critically acclaimed global anthology series."
"Without knowing how to read music, Franklin taught herself to play the piano; at the young age of 12, she began to record songs and sing on gospel tours with her father. She signed her first record deal at age 18 with Columbia Records. In 1966, she moved to Atlantic Records, where she recorded many of her most iconic songs. In 1979, she began a 40-year friendship and partnership with Clive Davis, which produced a number of hit songs," read the show's summary as per the Christian Headlines.
Franklin, as per her biography, is a "20th and 21st century musical and cultural icon" for "countless classics" that include "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," "I Say A Little Prayer," "Chain of Fools," and "I Never Loved A Man." She also composed her own songs and her "powerful, distinctive gospel-honed vocal style has influenced countless singers across multi-generations." She was born on March 25, 1942 and died August 16, 2018.