March 18, 2014 10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Macy Gray Boards Lee Daniels' Hip-Hop Drama 'Empire' (Exclusive)
Grammy winner Macy Gray is joining Fox's Empire.
The singer-actress has boarded the network's hip-hop drama pilot Empire, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From The Butler's Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Empire is a family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire. Taraji P. Henson stars as Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), the head of a record label at the center of the drama.
Gray will recur as Tasha, a woman having an affair with the much-younger Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray aka rapper Yazz The Greatest), over whom she exercises considerable influence and control.
For Gray, repped by APA Stampede Management and Mark Music & Media Law, the casting serves as a reunion with Howard, with whom she starred in Cardboard Boxer. Her credits include features November Rule, Brotherly Love and TV gigs on Ally McBeal, American Dreams, That's So Raven, Lakawanna Blues and Cold Case.
In Empire, she joins a cast that also includes Precious alum Gabourey Sidibe (recurring), and regulars Jussie Smollett, Malik Yoba, Kaitlin Doubleday, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey and Tasha Smith (also recurring). The drama will feature original and current music, with Timbaland on board as a songwriter/music producer.
Strong, who penned the script for The Butler, which was produced and directed by Daniels, will write Empire, while Daniels will make his TV directing debut with the project. From 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine, Brian Grazer will exec produce alongside Daniels, Strong and Francie Calfo.