Cynthia Erivo will soon portray the late, great Aretha Franklin (Picture: AP; Getty)

The Queen of Soul is coming to the small screen.

Cynthia Erivo has been cast as Aretha Franklin in National Geographics upcoming biopic Genius: Aretha.

The anthology series, which has previously depicted the life stories of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, will shift its gaze to the late soul legend who passed away in August 2018 at the age of 76.

Genius: Aretha is being billed as the first-ever definitive and authorised series to focus on Franklin and her life in music. The show will, therefore, feature a number of her greatest hits, including I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Chain of Fools and Since Youve Been Gone.

The series is set to chronicle Franklins musical genius and incomparable career, and the impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Aretha Franklin
Franklin is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time (Picture: Ron Howard/Redferns)

As well as recreations of some of her most memorable performances (such as those she gave at the 1998 Grammys and Barack Obamas 2009 inauguration), Franklins important civil rights activism is expected to be covered in the series.

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Erivo – who has notably starred in Widows, the Broadway production of The Color Purple and the forthcoming Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet – will perform Franklins songs in the show and, in a statement about the upcoming series, she praised Franklin for long being a source of inspiration for me.

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 honour, Erivo added.

I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius.

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