Cynthia Erivo is a British actress who is a singer and a songwriter who has been cast in 'Genius: Aretha' an anthology period drama series. Genius is an American TV series that is developed by Ken Biller and Noah Pink and it airs on National Geographic Channel.

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo at TIFF premiere for 'Harriet' film Cynthia Erivo/Instagram

Known for her performance in 'Sister Act' and 'The Color' for which she was critically acclaimed, the actress is now all set to play the role of Aretha Franklin in National Geographic's period drama, Genius. She has previously won the Tony Award for her performance in 'The Color Purple' which is a Broadway revival. This performance also won the actor a Grammy Award in the year 2017.

In a statement made by Erivo, she speaks about how Aretha Franklin has always been a source of inspiration for her ever since she was a kid. She also exclaims that she feels excited and privileged to be playing a part in the series that revolves around Franklin's life.

The first season of the series is based on the life of Albert Einstein, a physicist who was responsible for the 'Theory of Relativity'. This season is based on a book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, written by Walter Issacson in the year 2007. This was premiered on April 25th, 2017. The second season of the series is based on the life of the renowned artist, Pablo Picasso. This season aired from April 24th 2018 to June 19th 2018. The third season will be based on the life of one of the most celebrated singers, Aretha Franklin. This will be aired in the first half of 2020.

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American songwriter, a singer and a pianist. She was also a civil rights activist. 'The Queen of Soul' is what she was known as by the end of the 1960s. Many of Franklin's biggest recordings are set to be featured in 'Genius: Aretha' which includes "Don't Play That Song", "Chain of Fools", "Baby I Love You", "Since You've Been Gone" and "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)". In August 2018, Franklin died of cancer at the age of 76.