Rapper-actor TI boards Nat Geo's 'Genius: Aretha'

Los Angeles, Mar 26 (PTI) American rapper and actor TI, best known for featuring in 'Ant-Man' films, has joined the cast of National Geographic's 'Genius: Aretha'.

British actor Cynthia Erivo will be portraying Aretha Franklin in the third chapter of the critically-acclaimed anthology series, focussing on the life of Grammy Award winner and music icon.

The first and second seasons of the show explored the lives of famous German scientist Albert Einstein and Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, respectively.

TI, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr, will portray Ken Cunningham, a fashion designer who approaches Aretha about investing in his Harlem-based business.

The 39-year-old actor will have a recurring role in the series, reported Deadline.

The cast has also added actors Antonique Smith, Tina Fears and Ethan Henry.

The eight-episode show will also feature Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Sanai Victoria.

Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce the pilot episode. Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of 'Topdog/Underdog', will be serving as showrunner.

The series will include some of Franklin's iconic recordings 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', 'Since You''ve Been Gone' and 'Baby I Love You'.

It will also feature the singer's performances of 'I Knew You Were Waiting for Me', 'Freeway of Love' and 'Sisters Are Doin'' It for Themselves'. PTI RB RB