"Empire" is the number one show on the air, starting in its third season on Wednesday evening. It not only was named a top ten television show of the year as nominated by the American Film Institute, but "Empire" also earned a Golden Globe Award nomination, the only broadcast program presented with such an honor. The amazing cast includes incredible performances by Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, Traj Byers and Bryshere “Yazz” Gray. With the onset of this exciting drama for the "Soul of Empire," there are some interesting facts that may amaze you about the show and cast.

Truths about Empire Stars

  • "Empire" is not an encore performance for Terrence and Taraji working together. They met on the set of Hustle & Flow ten years ago and cast again in another great set of Four Brothers.
  • Wesley Snipes was initially asked to play Lucious Lyon before Terrence Howard took on the role. Taraji commented that she wanted to do the role with Mr. Howard.
  • A FaceTime audition led to Bryshere Gray getting the role as Hakeem, the younger Lyon brother.
  • Terrence Howard was forced to change his hairdo when first being cast for the role. His teased blowout style was not a favorite for the show. After some resistance on his part, Mr. Howard did change his style in time for the second episode of the show.
  • Most of the fabulous wardrobe donned by Cookie came from the closet of Monique Mosley, wife of Timbaland. The fashion on the show is just how the director viewed Cookie’s role to appear.
  • The first single on the show, “No Apologies” was released on iTunes, with the music adding to the popularity of the show.
  • Although Timbaland is recognized for the music behind Empire’s success, Jim Beanz, lyricist, and songwriter, is responsible for a large amount of the program’s music.
  • Taraji as Cookie does improvise many of her lines, throwing out many of her awesome one-liners.
  • Timbaland found his first work on a TV series in Empire. With his musical talents over the years on a number of projects, he never was involved in any other television series.
  • Jussie Smollett as brother Jamal Lyon comes from a family of performers. He is the older brother of Jurnee Smollett-Bell, known for roles in Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Full House, film Eve’s Bayou and Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.

Third season continues the drama

As the season begins, Lucious works to continue his music legacy while clashing with Tariq (Morocco Omari), his half-brother who has him under investigation by a federal task force. Cookie, on the other hand, is in pursuit of her own business.

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The series will present several flashbacks of past experiences including the moment of the first meeting between Cookie and Lucious. The Lyons brothers work to overcome issues they faced last season and moved on, which of course is always a battle within the Lyon family.

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