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Rapper/actor Tip "T.I." Harris has been added to the cast of an upcoming Aretha Franklin TV project, Genius: Aretha. The "ASAP" hitmaker portrays Franklin's one-time lover, fashion designer Ken Cunningham.

Actress Cynthia Erivo will star as the late music icon in Genius: Aretha, an authorized limited TV series that chronicles the life and legacy of the late Queen of Soul.

Although production was halted earlier this month due to the global coronavirus chaos, show officials have unveiled new cast additions.

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T.I., 39, will play socially-conscious New York entrepreneur Cunningham, who approaches Aretha to invest in his fashion business, and ends up embarking on a relationship with the singer.

Cunningham eventually became the singer's road manager, and fathered her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham, who was born in April, 1970.

Notorious star Antonique Smith and acting newcomers Tina Fears and Ethan Henry have also been added to the line-up, with Henry set to portray civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The news was released to coincide with what would have been Aretha's 78th birthday on Wednesday, March 25.

Producers at National Geographic Network marked the occasion by releasing a new image of Erivo as the "Respect" legend.

Genius: Aretha, which also stars Courtney B. Vance as the musician's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was due to premiere this spring, but will now launch at a later date.

The TV series isn't the only screen project about Aretha in the works - Jennifer Hudson is also playing Franklin in a new movie biopic, titled Respect, which is set to debut this Christmas.

The biopic was pushed back from its previously-announced October opening, according to Deadline.

Source: WENN.com