Watch Cynthia Erivo Perform 'Change Is Gonna Come' in 'Genius: Aretha'

After premiering with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, Genius: Aretha is back tonight with two more as the National Geographic anthology series continues to tell the story of Aretha Franklin’s life and career with Cynthia Erivo portraying the music legend.

ET has an exclusive clip from episode 3, “Do Right Woman,” in which Franklin is juggling her music career and her commitment to the civil rights movement before audiences get to see her perform “A Change Is Gonna Come.” 

The song, originally recorded by Sam Cooke in 1964, is a popular civil rights anthem inspired by the singer’s experience being turned away from a motel for being Black. Franklin covered it for her 1967 album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You.  

In order to bring Franklin’s story to life on screen, Erivo not only transformed into the singer through period costumes and makeup, she also re-recorded many of her biggest hits. 

“You’ll learn a lot of music; some music you might not know. I’m singing everything live, so you’ll hear all that,” the actress told ET, revealing that one of her favorite songs to cover was “Never Grow Old.”

“It’s sweet and then there’s a triumph-ness towards the end that I just really enjoyed singing it on set,” she added. “Now I go back and listen to that song over and over again.”

Genius: Aretha continues Monday, March 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic, with episodes available to stream the following day on Hulu. 

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