Trailer: Genius: Aretha set for Disney+ UK debut this June
James R | On 01, May 2021
Genius: Aretha will premiere on Disney+ in the UK this June.
The National Geographic’s anthology series dramatises the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators and their extraordinary achievements with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. Season 3 will explore Aretha 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. Franklin was a gospel prodigy, an outspoken civil rights champion and widely considered the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honours throughout her career. Genius: Aretha will be the first, definitive and only authorised scripted series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul.
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, including the highest charting and bestselling song of her career, I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), a duet with George Michael. The legendary singer is one of the world’s bestselling musical artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold globally during her career.
Cynthia Erivo stars as Aretha Franklin, performing many songs from her rich catalogue. She is joined by Courtney B Vance (The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) as Aretha’s father, CL Franklin, Malcolm Barrett (Timeless, Preacher) as Ted White, Franklin’s first husband and business manager, David Cross (Mr Show, Arrested Development) as legendary music producer Jerry Wexler, Patrice Covington (The Color Purple) and Rebecca Naomi Jones (Oklahoma!) as Erma and Carolyn Franklin, respectively, as Aretha’s sisters and frequent background singers, Steven Norfleet (Watchmen) as older brother Cecil Franklin, Pauletta Washington (Beloved) as Aretha’s nurturing and loving paternal grandmother, Rachel, and introducing Shaian Jordan as young Aretha Franklin, aka Little Re.
The series hails from Imagine Television and 20th Television, with Disney+ becoming the show’s UK TV home following the launch of Star, the subscription service’s adult-friendly arm dedicated to titles from 20th Century Studios. Season 3 premieres on Friday 4th June, with the first two episodes arriving together – and the remaining episodes arriving weekly.
Genius: Aretha is available on Disney+ UK, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription or a £79.99 yearly subscription.