By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 18, 2014 at 2:10PM
Lee Daniels continues to shore-up the cast of his hip hop drama series Empire, which is set up at FOX TV.
Add Macy Gray and Bryshere Y. Gray (aka rapper Yazz The Greatest) to the mix, joining Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, and Jussie Smollett - older brother of actress Jurnee Smollett.
Lee Daniels is collaborating with his The Butler writer, Danny Strong, on the project, with Brian Grazer also producing.
The project, which reportedly sparked a bidding war among the 4 major broadcast networks last year, received a pilot commitment from FOX, and is described as a drama about a family-run hip-hop empire, hence the title.
Danny Strong and Daniels are co-writing the pilot script, which Daniels will direct, with Strong, Daniels, Grazer and Francie Calfo executive producing.
Howard will play a Lucious Lyon, a charismatic, but tough chief of a record label titled Empire Entertainment, which is on the verge of an IPO.
Meanwhile, Henson will play Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon, who's described as a "total badass" with a prison record (she served 17 years for dealing drugs, and used the money to help finance Lucious' growing music empire, when it was still in its early days). She's now out of prison, and has come for what's hers!
Jussie Smollett will play their son, Jamal, a fledgling rapper himself, who, is also gay - something that Lucious, the father, has a problem with.
And Macy Gray will appear as Tasha, a woman having an affair with Bryshere Y. Gray's character, Hakeem Lyon, Lucious' other son, the youngest of the two, and Lucious' favorite, and the frontrunner to take over his father's empire.
Let all the family drama ensue!