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SURPRISE: Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha”

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Well ... as much of a surprise as it can be for a two-time Oscar nominee and Grammy winner to earn a nomination for playing the Queen of Soul in a highly promoted limited series. Still, Erivo won a place in the Emmys’ most competitive category — lead actress, limited series/TV movie — perhaps blazing a trail for Jennifer Hudson, who will star in another Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect,” arriving in theaters in September.

Emmy Nominations

Cynthia Erivo portrays Aretha Franklin in a scene from the National Geographic miniseries "Genius: Aretha." Erivo was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding leading actress in a limited series or movie. (Richard DuCree/National Geographic via AP)

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