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Raphael Saadiq to serve as executive producer of Aretha Franklin anthology series


Steve Jennings/WireImageGrammy winner Raphael Saadiq will oversee the music for an upcoming Aretha Franklin anthology series on National Geographic.

Billboard reports that the former Tony! Toni! Tone! member will serve as executive music producer for Genius: Arethawhich will star Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo as the late Queen of Soul.

Grammy award-winning trumpet player Terrence Blanchard, who has composed songs for several Spike Lee movies, including BlacKkKlansman, will create original music for the 10-part series.

“It’s an honor to share Aretha’s genius with the world, alongside the incredibly talented Cynthia Erivo and Terence Blanchard,” Saadiq tells Billboard. “We’ll hit the keys, play the parts and sing the lyrics that helped pave the way for musicians like myself to trust our artistry and challenge ourselves to be bold.”

Courtney B. Vance and Denzel Washington’s wife, Pauletta Washington, are among the stars joining Erivo in the cast. 

Genius: Aretha will premiere on May 25 at 9 p.m. ET on National Geographic.  

Raphael is now performing on his Jimmy Lee tour in support of his solo album of the same name. It’s set to wrap up through February 29 in Los Angeles.

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