16 Music Stars of 'Empire'

Second two of 'Empire' resumes March 30, 2016

Empire starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson was the breakout series of 2015, and has become a prime platform to promote major artists as well as new performers. With Timbaland serving as the show's executive music producer, the first soundtrack album was released on March 10, 2015. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 110,000 copies in its first week. Series stars Jussie Smollett and Yazz were featured on the CD along with Howard, and it included guest appearances by Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Estelle, Courtney Love, and Juicy J. The second CD, released on November 20, 2015, also features Smollett, Yazz, Howard and Timbaland, with appearances by Alicia Keys and Pitbull.

There were negotiations regarding Mariah Carey appearing in season two, however an agreement was not reached. Keys, Hudson, and Blige are among the many R&B stars who have appeared in Empire. Here is a list of "16 Music Stars of Empire."

01
of 16
Tyrese

Taraji P. Henson and Tyrese. Mark Davis/BET/Getty Images for BET

Empire creator and executive producer Lee Daniels announced that Tyrese would be featured in season two of Empire, and Tyrese says court appearances prevented him from appearing in season one. He hinted that he will portray Taraji P. Henson's love interest. It will be a reunion for the two stars who portrayed lovers in their first major movie, Baby Boy, in 2001.

02
of 16

Jennifer Hudson performing with 'Empire' cast members. Fox

Jennifer Hudson appears in a recurring role in Empire as Michelle White, a gospel singer and music therapist who interacts with Andre Lyon, eldest son of the Lyon family and CFO of Empire Entertainment. She sings "Remember The Music," and "Whatever Makes You Happy" with Juicy J, on the Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1 soundtrack.

Watch Jennifer Hudson and Juicy J. perform "Whatever Makes You Happy" on Empire here

03
of 16

Alicia Keys and Jussie Smollett in "Empire.". Fox

Alicia Keys appeared as singer Skye Summers in the season two November 25, 2015 episode, Sinned Against, which also featured her mother, Terria Joseph. At a press conference, Lucious Lyon introduced Summers as Empire Entertainment's new artist. She performed the song "Powerful" with Jamal Lyon which appears on the season two soundtrack CD. They sang the song again at a concert to promote the American Sound Awards in the mid-season finale on December 2, 2015.

Watch Alicia Keys and Jussie Smollett perform "Powerful" on Empire here.

04
of 16
Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland. Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Pepsi

Kelly Rowland appears in a recurring role in Empire in flashbacks as  Leah Walker, the mother of Lucious Lyon. She is also the grandmother of his sons Andre, Jamal, Hakeem, and his daughter Lola. She suffered from bipolar disorder, and died when Lucious was nine years old.

05
of 16

Mary J. Blige and Terrnece Howard. Fox

Mary J. Blige appeared in Empire Season 1, Episode 10, Sins of the Father, as Lucious Lyon's former girlfriend. She sings "Shake Down" with Terrence Howard on the Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1 soundtrack.

Watch Mary J. Blige and Terrence Howard perform "Shake Down" on Empire here.

06
of 16

Timbaland and V. Bozeman from'Empire,'. D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Timbaland is the executive music producer for Empire. He composed eight of the eleven songs on Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1. He also composed, produced and is featured with Yazz on "Bout 2 Blow" for the Empire: Original Soundtrack Season 2 Volume 1.

Watch Yazz and Timabland perform "Bout 2 Blow" on Empire here.

07
of 16
Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo in 'Empire. Fox

Jason Derulo appeared as himself to announce nominations for the American Sound Awards in Empire Season 1, Episode 10, Et Tu, Brute.

08
of 16

Pitbull performing with Jussie Smolett in "Empire.".

Pitbull performed "No Doubt About It" with Jamal Lyon in Empire Season 2, Episode 3, Fires of Heaven. The song  was composed and produced by Ne-Yo for the Empire: Original Soundtrack Season 2 Volume 1.

Watch the "No Doubt About it" video here.

09
of 16
Ludacris

Petey Pablo, Ludacris, and Terrence Howard. Fox

Ludacris portrayed prison guard McKnight who has a confrontation with Lucious Lyon in Empire Season 2, Episode 2, Without A Country.

10
of 16

Rita Ora. Fox

Rita Ora appeared in the Empire Season 1, Episode 12, two hour season finale, Die Once/Who I Am. She performed "New York Raining" with Charles Hamilton at a party for Lucious Lyon.

Watch Rita Ora and Charles Hamilton perform "NY Raining" on Empire here.

11
of 16

Terrence Howard and Snoop Dogg in 'Empire.". Fox

Snoop Dogg performed his song "Peaches N Cream" in the Empire Season 1, Episode 11 two hour season finale, Die But Once/Who I Am.

Watch Snoop Dogg perform  "Peaches N Cream" on Empire here.

12
of 16

Ne-Yo. D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Ne-Yo appeared in Empire Season 2, Episode 5, Be True. He recorded with Jamal Lyon and gave him advice about his life. Ne-Yo was also involved in writing four songs for Empire: Original Soundtrack Season 2 Volume 1, including "No Doubt About It" by Jussie Smollett and Pitbull.

Watch Ne-Yo and Jussie Smollett discuss how they create music together on Empire here.

13
of 16

Patti LaBelle and Jussie Smollett. Fox

Patti LaBelle performed "Nothing to Lose" with Jamal Lyon in the Empire Season 1, Episode 12, two hour season finale, Die But Once/Who I Am. In the song, she encouraged him to fight to take over Empire Entertainment.

Watch Patti LaBelle and Jussie Smollett perform "Nothing to Lose" on Empire here.

14
of 16

Gladys Knight in 'Empire'. Fox

Gladys Knight appeared in Empire, Season 1, Episode 3, The Devil Quotes Scripture. She performed "What a Fellowship" at the funeral for Marcus "Bunkie" Williams, Cookie Lyon's cousin who was killed by her ex-husband, Lucious Lyon.

Watch Gladys Knight perform "What A Fellowship on Empire here

15
of 16

Jussie Smollett, Estelle and Bryshere Y. Gray from 'Empire. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Estelle portrayed singer Delfine in Empire Season1, Episode 9, Unto The Breach. She sang "Conqueror" with Jussie Smollett for Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1.

Watch Estelle and Jussie Smollett perform "Conquereor" on Empire here.

16
of 16
Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton performing in 'Empire.'. Fox

Anthony Hamilton sang "The Point of It All" on Empire Season 1, Episode 5, Dangerous Bonds. He performed the song as Lucious Lyon proposed to his girlfriend, Anika Calhoun.