Jussie Smollett is the breakout star of the new Fox hit series Empire, the drama about a musical mogul family that is breaking records since it debuted. He’s breaking barriers on network television for his portrayal as Jamal, the gay son to Luscious and Cookie Lyon (played by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson).
1. He was in the 1992 film The Mighty Ducks with Emilio Estevez.
2. His father passed away from cancer on the same day that Empire premiered.
Yesterday, January 7, 2015 my family lost our king but we gained a righteous angel. You showed the deepest strength and dignity until your very last breath. You are not just a fighter… You are the CHAMP. As I try to make sense of our own grief, I smile in my heart with the words that your oldest daughter, @jazzsmollettwarwell told us all "Daddy was here to help transition us into the world… We are blessed enough to be able to help transition him out of the world." I love and honor you. I will continue to work hard to make you proud and will always & forever be your son. You live on. Fly high Daddy. #JoelSmollettSr. October 8, 1956 – January 7, 2015 #FamilyFirst #CancerSucks
3. He’s a singer on the show, but also one in real life.
In 2012, he released his first EP The Poisoned Heart.
4. He’s grateful for the new fans he is gaining.
In an interview with, E! Online he told a story about how a fan reached out to him after seeing him on Empire. “It touched me so deeply because it was only the second episode,” Smollett said of the fan letter. “So it must mean something to people. It’s just an honor to bring that to life.”
5. He’s Jewish.
Happy first night of #Hanukkah my peeps. As I recite my blessings I'm thankful for all of the beauty in the world. I pray that we all come together as a human race and fight for the peace that this world so deserves. The very foundation of peace is respect and I respect & love you all deeply. (Except bigots… Yall can kiss my ass.) 🙌 #HappyHanukkah2014 #Blewish
6. He’s part of a big family.
His younger sister is actress Jurnee Smollett. The two and their other siblings appeared on the short-lived ABC sitcom, On Our Own.
Get caught up before the finale with the Empire Season 2 Binge-a-thon Saturday May 14 at 9am on TV One!
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