Rapper-actor T.I. has joined the cast of Nat Geo's upcoming Aretha Franklin TV project, which features Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul. He will be seen as her one-time lover, fashion designer Ken Cunningham in an authorised limited series which will chronicle her life, as reported by Deadline.
It is now unknown that the show's production was halted earlier this month due to COVID-19 pandemic, the makers have now added new cast members. The character T.I. will play is of a socially-conscious New York entrepreneur, who meets Aretha to invest in his fashion business but ends up having a relationship with the singer. Not just that, he also becomes her road manager apart from having fathered her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham, who was born in April, 1970.
Also joining the cast are Antonique Smith, Tina Fears and Ethan Henry. Antonique will reportedly play Barbara Franklin, Pastor CL Franklin's loving wife. Tina, on the other hand, will be seen as Clara Ward, the lead performer of the Clara Ward Singers, a prominent Gospel group. She was the one who toured the revival circuit with CL Franklin, Aretha's father. Last but not the least, Ethan is all set to portray civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
The new cast additions were announced on Aretha's 78th birthday, which fell on March 25.
For those caught unaware, the show also features Courtney B. Vance as the musician's father, reverend and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin. With the show not able to premiere this season, it will now launch at a later date.
Now just Genius: Aretha, another biopic with actress Jennifer Hudson playing the lead role is also in the works.