Hear Cynthia Erivo Cover Aretha Franklin with ‘Chain of Fools’

Following last night’s multi-city drive-in and virtual premieres for National Geographic’s upcoming anthology series, Genius: Aretha, Rhino today released a new cover of the classic “Chain Of Fools” from the show’s cast as a digital single on all digital download and streaming services.

One of Aretha Franklin’s signature songs, this new version features the cast of Genius: Aretha, which stars Double Oscar® Nominee Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul. The original version was released in November 1967 as a single and appeared a few months later on Franklin’s third album for Atlantic Records, 1968’s Lady Soul. The song won the 1969 Grammy® Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and was inducted into Grammy® Hall of Fame in 2001.

This new cover of “Chain Of Fools” features Erivo on vocals along with Carl Lemar Carter (drums), Dimitry Gorodetsky (bass), Matt Jones (Rhodes piano), and Erick Walls (guitar), with background vocals provided by Patrice Covington, Rebeca Naomi Jones, and Toni Scruggs. The track was produced by Jamelle Adisa and executive produced by Raphael Saadiq.

“Chain of Fools” is also featured on the new National Geographic Spotify playlist, a curated collection of songs electrified by National Geographic’s 133-year history of inspiring the explorer in everyone.

Genius is National Geographic’s critically acclaimed anthology series that dramatizes the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators and their extraordinary achievements with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. This third season will explore Aretha 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. Franklin was a gospel prodigy, an outspoken civil rights champion and widely considered the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honors throughout her career. Genius: Aretha will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul.

From 20th Television and Imagine Television Studios, this new season of the Emmy award-winning anthology series will premiere on National Geographic with double-stacked episodes across four consecutive nights, beginning on Sunday, March 21, at 9/8c. The premiere episodes will be available the next day on Hulu, culminating in a celebration of Aretha Franklin’s birthday, with all eight episodes available to stream by Thursday, March 25.

The previously announced cast includes triple threat Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy Award-winning Erivo as Aretha Franklin who will be performing many songs from Franklin’s rich catalogue; the Emmy-winning Courtney B. Vance (“The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”) as Aretha’s father, C.L. Franklin; Malcolm Barrett (“Timeless,” “Preacher”) as Ted White, Franklin’s first husband and business manager; David Cross (“Mr. Show,” “Arrested Development”) as legendary music producer Jerry Wexler, who guided Franklin as she developed into a confident singer and commercial success; Patrice Covington (“The Color Purple”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”) and Rebecca Naomi Jones (“Oklahoma!,” “The Big Sick”) portray Erma and Carolyn Franklin, respectively, as Aretha’s sisters and frequent background singers, who supported and collaborated with their famous sibling; Steven Norfleet (“Watchmen,” “Dynasty”) as older brother Cecil Franklin, who stepped in as Aretha’s manager following her divorce from Ted White; veteran actress Pauletta Washington (“Beloved,” “She’s Gotta Have It”) as Aretha’s nurturing and loving paternal grandmother, Rachel; Omar J. Dorsey (“Queen Sugar”) as James Cleveland; Marque Richardson (“Dear White People”) as King Curtis, Kimberly Hébert Gregory (“Vice Principals”) as Ruth Bowen; and introducing Shaian Jordan as young Aretha Franklin, aka Little Re.