The 30-second spot (which will also air during the Grammys this Sunday, March 14th) centers around footage of Erivo as Franklin singing an a cappella rendition of the famous hymn. It’s paired with a montage of clips that show Franklin working as both an artist and activist, her rise as the Queen of Soul juxtaposed with the tumult of the Civil Rights era.
Genius: Aretha is part of National Geographic’s Genius anthology series, which in previous seasons has centered around Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso. The season on Franklin marks the first-ever authorized limited series about the singer and will feature Franklin’s music after Nat Geo secured the rights to her catalog.
Along with Erivo, Genius: Aretha will star Courtney B. Vance as Franklin’s father, C.L. Franklin, David Cross as Jerry Wexler, and T.I. as Ken Cunningham, Franklin’s road manager and the father of her first son. The eight-episode series will air over four nights, with Nat Geo broadcasting two episodes per night starting with the March 21st premiere. All episodes will be available to stream by March 25th.