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Aretha Franklin Latest News, Photos, and Videos

Cynthia Erivo Embodies Aretha Franklin in First 'Genius: Aretha' Teaser

The first teaser of Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin is here for Genius: Aretha and it’s stunning.

The eight-part limited series, which will be produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, is set to premiere on May 25,

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Cynthia Erivo

“Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from re-listening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her – all to really capture Aretha‘s attitude and spirit,” Cynthia shared about her role as the iconic music star.

She added, “I’m truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we’ll serve the Queen and create something special.”

Watch the first teaser below!

You can see another first look image of Cynthia as Aretha here!

Jennifer Hudson Is Aretha Franklin in 'Respect' - Watch the First Footage! (Video)

Jennifer Hudson is playing Aretha Franklin!

The 38-year-old Academy Award-winning actress and singer plays the late music icon in the upcoming film Respect, hitting theaters on October 9, 2020.

Here’s a plot summary: following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.

Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, and Mary J. Blige all star in the film.

READ MORE: Jennifer Hudson Is Aretha Franklin in ‘Respect’ Biopic – First Pics From the Set!

Watch the first teaser and see the poster inside…

jennifer hudson respect poster

Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin - See the First Look Photo!

Cynthia Erivo will be playing the role of music legend Aretha Franklin in the upcoming National Geographic series Genius: Aretha and the first look photo has been released!

Production just began on the eight-part limited series, which will premiere in May 2020. Oscar winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are executive producing the series.

“Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from relistening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her – all to really capture Aretha‘s attitude and spirit,” Cynthia said in a statement. “I’m truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we’ll serve the Queen and create something special.”

Jennifer Hudson, who was Cynthia‘s co-star in The Color Purple on Broadway, is currently shooting a movie about Aretha‘s life.

You can watch Cynthia sing the Aretha song “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” in the video here.

cynthia erivo as aretha franklin

Jennifer Hudson Is Aretha Franklin in 'Respect' Biopic - First Pics From the Set!

This is the first look at Jennifer Hudson as the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin!

The 38-year-old singer and actress was seen filming scenes for the upcoming biopic Respect on location in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood on Saturday (November 2) in New York City.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer was seen filming with co-star Marlon Wayans, who will play her on-screen husband, Ted White.

The scene reportedly takes place in 1966, when Marlon is seen talking and collecting money from prostitutes while Jennifer looks on from a car. Later on, they share a passionate kiss.

The movie is set to hit theaters in August of 2020, and is being directed by Liesl Tommy.

READ MORE: ‘Cats’ Movie Trailer – Watch Jennifer Hudson Sing ‘Memory’

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Cynthia Erivo to Portray Aretha Franklin in 'Genius'

Cynthia Erivo has been tapped to star as the late Aretha Franklin in the upcoming season of Genius: Aretha.

Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl. 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,” Cynthia said in a statement (via Variety). “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.”

Past seasons of Genius have focused on Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso. The third season is aimed for a Spring of 2020 premiere on National Geographic.

Cynthia is set to portray another hugely influential figure in another work coming soon.

Jennifer Hudson Honors Aretha Franklin at Pulitzer Prize Event

Jennifer Hudson belts out the song “Amazing Grace” during the Pulitzer Prize luncheon event at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library on Tuesday (May 28) in New York City.

The Oscar-winning singer and actress paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, who received a posthumous special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.”

Jennifer, who is set to play Aretha in an upcoming biopic, performed the song in her honor.

At the event, Jennifer revealed that she had to drive 14 hours from Chicago to New York City after flights were canceled due to the weather.