The next instalment in the highly anticipated, multiple Emmy® award-winning anthology series, GENIUS, this time honouring the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, will premiere exclusively on National Geographic across Africa from Wednesday 30 June 2021, at 21:00 (CAT). Starring double Oscar®-nominee Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet,” “The Color Purple”) in the title role, GENIUS: ARETHA, will start with a special double episode event across the continent, with one episode per week thereafter. Additionally, each episode will be available on DStv CatchUp after the linear broadcast.
GENIUS is National Geographic’s critically acclaimed anthology series that dramatizes the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators and their extraordinary achievements with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. This third season 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-ever, definitive and only authorized 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. Her voice was identified as a “natural resource” by her home state of Michigan.
“National Geographic is committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries and going further, and does exactly that in the next instalment of the award winning GENIUS series which showcases the remarkable life and work of the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. This series highlights not only how brilliant she was, but also the many complex aspects of her life. Aretha Franklin’s voice is merely one aspect of her awe-inspiring legacy, adding to her civil rights advocacy, her true musical genius, and so much more” – Evert van der Veer, Vice President, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa
The series features many of Franklin’s biggest recordings and hit songs from the comprehensive Warner Music catalogue, including “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “Chain of Fools,” “Don’t Play That Song” and “Save Me.” The series also features Franklin’s performances of “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,” “Freeway of Love” and “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.” Additionally, the third season of the acclaimed anthology series features a number of well-known personalities who crossed paths with Franklin, including Dinah Washington, King Curtis, Clara Ward, Art Tatum, Reverend James Cleveland, Sydney Pollack, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr, Curtis Mayfield and George Michael.
Tune in on DSTV: Channel 181, StarSat: 220 on DTH, 220 on DTT (249 on DTT in Uganda).