Check out five of the most exciting aspects to look out for in the new National Geographic series.
THERE’S AN ALL-STAR CAST
Erivo, as a triple threat Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner, knows a thing or two about career-defining songs. The important role of Reverend C.L. Franklin, Aretha Franklin’s father, is played by Emmy-winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J Simpson). Malcolm Barrett (Timeless) is Franklin’s first husband and manager, Ted White, while David Cross (Arrested Development) plays legendary music producer Jerry Wexler—who helps Franklin develop her legendary sound.
THE SHOW FOLLOWS FRANKLIN OVER NEARLY FIVE DECADES
WE GET TO SEE FRANKLIN’S WORK AS AN ACTIVIST
Her involvement with the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s was a major part of Franklin’s career and life. The series covers her work with Martin Luther King Jr. and shows how she grappled with her public-facing image while standing firm in her beliefs and staying true to herself. In episode five, we see Franklin record “Young, Gifted and Black,” a protest album inspired by Angela Davis and the Soledad Brothers.
Franklin’s crowning as the Queen of Soul wasn’t metaphoric—it actually happened, complete with a ceremony, certificate, and crown. Look for this at the end of the first episode.