10:58am PT by Kate Stanhope
Mariah Carey Set for 'Empire' Season 3 Role
Mariah Carey is about to enter the Lyons' den.
The songstress is set to guest-star on the upcoming third season of Empire, it was announced Monday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
Carey will play Kitty, a superstar collaborating with Jamal (Jussie Smollett) on an explosive new tune. When their duet hits a few obstacles, Kitty helps Jamal dig deep to overcome personal difficulties and reach a musical breakthrough. The episode will air Oct. 5.
Carey joins previously announced season-three guest stars Taye Diggs, rapper French Montana, singer Sierra McClain, singer Kid Cudi, rapper Birdman and rapper Xzibit, who made his debut in the season-two finale and will return in a series-regular capacity.
Carey's role is more than a year in the making. Empire co-creator Lee Daniels first announced she would be appearing on the show when he appeared at her Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony in August 2015. However, her part never came to fruition.
"We've been talking to Mariah about doing the show for a couple of years," Fox Television Group co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden said when speaking to reporters about the role. "She always makes a point of coming over and talking about her passion for the show."
Walden also noted Carey's "longstanding relationships" with both Daniels and Empire executive producer Sanaa Hamri. Daniels and Carey have collaborated several times before, with the singer appearing in his films Precious and The Butler. Hamri, who also is a frequent director on the hip-hop drama, has helmed several of Carey's music videos, including "Thank God I Found You," "CryBaby" and her 2011 update of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" with Justin Bieber.
This marks the latest small-screen role for Carey, who directed and co-starred in the Hallmark holiday movie A Christmas Melody in December and is set to headline her own E! reality show, Mariah's World, which bows in December. The "We Belong Together" and "One Sweet Day" singer, who still ranks as the best-selling female recording artist of all time, is currently in the midst of a Las Vegas residency.
The Empire role also brings her back to Fox, where she previously served as a judge on season 12 of American Idol, an experience which she called "abusive," when she appeared at the TCA summer press tour on Aug. 3 to promote her reality series.
Since its blockbuster launch in January 2015, Empire has been able to lure several other A-listers to broadcast television. Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Marisa Tomei and Rosie O'Donnell were among those who appeared in season two.
Empire's third season is set to kick off Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.