Jussie Smollett

PHOTO: Tommaso Boddi/GETTY


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.


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.



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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