Cynthia Erivo Recalls Best Moments With Aretha Franklin

by Buzz Street Times

“She remembered me and was like, ‘Oh you, you can sing!'”

Cynthia Erivo has tons of respect for Aretha Franklin.


Amy Sussman / Getty Images, Rick Diamond


Erivo, who plays the 18-time Grammy Award–winning artist in Genius: Aretha, remembered the first time she met the singer in 2016. At the time, Erivo was playing Celie in The Color Purple.

“We met her afterwards, she came backstage, she sang the line ‘I’m here’ back to me, so I couldn’t have been happier after that,” she recalled to Entertainment Weekly.

Later that year, Erivo met Franklin again when she performed at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors.

“You can really sing!” she remembers Franklin telling her in a recent interview with DuJour.

“I saw her when I was about to perform and she remembered me and was like, ‘Oh you, you can sing!'” Erivo added about that night to EW. “I was like, ‘I’m happy! That’s it! I don’t need anything else.’”

“And what that sort of left me with was, especially when this [role] came around, was that I hope that I make her proud doing this,” she continued. “I hope that she knows that a person who valued what she thought of the work I was doing is telling the story.”

One moment Erivo will never forget was when she caught Franklin singing along to “The Impossible Dream” in the audience.


Paul Natkin / Getty Images

“To be able to sing something and to know that was the reaction that was brought about by a performance of mine, you wish that if she’s anywhere listening, I hope every time she hears me singing, that’s how it feels when she hears it,” Erivo said.

Although the actor gave a phenomenal performance in Genius: Aretha, Franklin’s son Kecalf said his family did not support the series because no one reached out to “contact the core family about anything.”


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

“If you are a true fan, please do not support it,” he said, per the Detroit Free Press.

However, Erivo’s performance in the series is undeniable. Fans have raved about it on social media, and it only goes to show that Erivo adores Franklin and has nothing but respect for the legend.

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