HEAR IT: Cynthia Erivo performs stirring cover of Aretha Franklin classic ‘Chain of Fools’ from ‘Genius’ series

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Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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Two-time Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo is proving that she is more than able to take on the role of The Queen of Soul.

Following last night’s multi-city, drive-in premieres for National Geographic’s remarkable anthology series, “Genius: Aretha,” Rhino has released the Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner’s stirring cover of “Chain Of Fools.”

Featuring other members of the eight-part series’ cast, the digital single is currently available on all digital download and streaming services.

Written by Don Covay, “Chain of Fools” is one of Aretha Franklin’s signature songs, originally released in November 1967 as a single and appeared a few months later on Franklin’s third album for Atlantic Records, 1968 1/4 u2032s “Lady Soul.”

The Billboard chart-topper won her the 1969 Grammy for best female R&B vocal performance and was inducted into Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. She died in 2018.

Erivo’s version includes Carl Lemar Carter on drums, Dimitry Gorodetsky on bass, Matt Jones on Rhodes piano, and Erick Walls on guitar, with background vocals provided by Emmy Award winner Patrice Covington, Tony Award nominee Rebeca Naomi Jones, and music historian Toni “TJ” Scruggs.

The track was produced by New Orleans jazz musician Jamelle Yahya Adisa and executive-produced by Raphael Saadiq.

Chronicling the life and times of the life of late music legend, “Genius: Aretha” deftly explores Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career, as well as the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world.

Pulitzer Prize recipient, MacArthur “Genius” grant receiver and Tony Award winner Suzan-Lori Parks, who recently scripted HBO’s “Native Son” remake and Lee Daniels’ latest drama “The United States V. Billie Holiday,” serves as showrunner, executive producer and lead writer of series, which features many touchpoints of Franklin’s illustrious life, including lesser-known upsets and personal struggles.

Helmed by Emmy Award winner Anthony Hemingway, the series will air as a double-episode-stacked, four-night event begins March 21 on the National Geographic Channel. The eight hour-long episodes of the season will air in pairs of two, with all available to stream on Hulu by March 25 — Franklin’s birthday.