The Aretha Franklin bio-series Genius Aretha debuts Sunday night on Nat Geo.
Series associate Suzan-Lori Parks told Reuters the series honors "the moments where she created things that will last long after she’s gone."
Actress Cynthia Erivo, who portrays Aretha Franklin and actually sings the Queen of Soul’s classics in the series, says: "To be able to step into that body and understand it... that meant a great deal because... I got to know her a bit more, which... makes me even more of a fan but [also] understand her more."
Erivo also explained that she took inspiration from actor Courtney B. Vance’s role as Aretha’s preacher father. Erivo said she listened to many of Reverend C.L. Franklin’s sermons. She said she listen to them "over and over and over again... and then I took a lot of notes about ... his cadences and the words that he seemed to use over and over."
[Source: Classic Hits Today]