Canada markets close in 1 hour 18 minutes
  • S&P/TSX

    21,186.18
    +99.19 (+0.47%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,536.36
    +16.73 (+0.37%)
     
  • DOW

    35,621.28
    +163.97 (+0.46%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.8123
    +0.0032 (+0.39%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    84.25
    +1.29 (+1.55%)
     
  • BTC-CAD

    82,059.62
    +3,638.75 (+4.64%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,552.71
    +71.90 (+4.86%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,786.50
    +16.00 (+0.90%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,289.75
    +13.83 (+0.61%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6400
    +0.0050 (+0.31%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    15,122.38
    -6.71 (-0.04%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    15.63
    -0.07 (-0.45%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,223.10
    +5.57 (+0.08%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,255.55
    +40.03 (+0.14%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6968
    +0.0017 (+0.24%)
     

Cynthia Erivo says Aretha Franklin blessed her Emmy nomination: 'I felt her give me a wink'

·2 min read
Cynthia Erivo says Aretha Franklin blessed her Emmy nomination: 'I felt her give me a wink'

This year at the Emmys, Cynthia Erivo feels the love from both the Television Academy and a legendary star above.

"It was a huge honor, and it did feel like she's still watching when the nomination happened," Erivo told the PEOPLE and EW Red Carpet Live team at Sunday's Emmys, at which she's nominated for her performance as Aretha Franklin in the National Geographic series Genius. "I felt her give me a wink and go, 'Well done.'"

Erivo, who also has two Oscar nominations for her work on the 2019 Harriet Tubman biopic, added that she "wanted to be as truthful as possible to" the late Queen of Soul's life across the limited series, and "honor her memory and the music she made and the life that she lived" because it wasn't an easy one to navigate, though she "still gave the world such incredible music and brought many people together" in the end.

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo

Rich Fury/Getty Images Cynthia Erivo on the 2021 Emmys red carpet.

The 34-year-old British star previously told EW that she won the role during her entrance to the 2019 Tony Awards, after a reporter asked her to name her guilty-pleasure song and she responded by singing a bit of Franklin's "Ain't No Way."

"Unbeknownst to me, that interview gets sent to [executive producers] Clive Davis and Brian Grazer, the rest is history," Erivo said at the time. "I get a call from my agent, who says National Geographic is doing the next Genius and it's about Aretha Franklin and they would like you to consider playing the role, and there's a meeting coming up if you want to take it."

Erivo isn't the only performer garnering awards buzz for portraying Franklin; Jennifer Hudson received standout praise for her performance in the feature film Respect, which bowed earlier this year.

The 73rd annual Emmys, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and will stream live on Paramount+. See the full list of 2021 Emmys nominees here.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting