COLUMBIA RECORDS TO RELEASE ORIGINAL MUSIC FROM FOX'S NEW SERIES "EMPIRE"
POWERFUL NEW DRAMA PREMIERES
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, ON FOX
Debut Song from EMPIRE, "No Apologies," Available December 15
(New York, NY; Columbia Records; Dec. 15, 2014) - Columbia Records, the official music partner of FOX Broadcasting Company's highly anticipated new series EMPIRE - a powerful new drama about a hip-hop mogul whose family battles for his throne - will release the series' first original song, "No Apologies," on iTunes Monday, Dec. 15. The song features the series' Jussie Smollet ("North," "The Mighty Ducks") and Bryshere Gray (a.k.a. Yazz The Greatest). EMPIRE debuts Wednesday, Jan. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. "No Apologies" is featured in the second episode of the series, airing Wednesday, Jan. 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The lyric video for "No Apologies" premiered last week on Vevo.com. Watch it here.
EMPIRE is from Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels ("Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Precious"), Emmy Award winner Danny Strong ("Game Change," "Lee Daniels' The Butler") and Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer ("A Beautiful Mind," "24"), and stars Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard ("Crash," "Hustle & Flow") as Empire Entertainment CEO and hip-hop king LUCIOUS LYON. Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson ("No Good Deed," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") also stars as Lucious' embittered ex-wife, COOKIE. Smollet and acting newcomer Gray play Lucious' two younger sons, who both vie to become his successor. Hit-making mega-producer Timbaland, the series' executive music producer, produced "No Apologies," and supervises all music on the show. Throughout EMPIRE's run, Columbia will release songs from each new episode on iTunes and other digital platforms.
Music plays a significant role both in the plot and cutting-edge atmosphere of EMPIRE, which will include original songs by cast members and special guest contributors, who also will be featured in this high-stakes/behind-the-scenes hip-hop drama.
In the series, Lucious has ruled as CEO of Empire Entertainment unchallenged for years. When he learns he has a disease that will render him incapacitated in three years, he must groom one of his three sons to take over his empire without destroying his family. Along with Smollet as middle son JAMAL, and Gray as youngest son HAKEEM, Trai Byers ("90210") plays ANDRE, the eldest son and CFO of Empire Entertainment. Andre is assisted by his manipulative and like-minded wife, RHONDA (Kaitlin Doubleday, "Hung," "Catch Me If You Can"). As Lucious prompts his sons to vie for the empire, his plans are thrown into chaos when Cookie emerges seven years early from prison, where she's been for almost two decades, looking for her share of the family fortune. The series also features Malik Yoba, ("Revolution," "Girlfriends") and newcomer Grace Gealey. Guest stars include supermodel Naomi Campbell, Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. ("Jerry Maguire"), Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe ("American Horror Story," "Precious"), Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Courtney Love ("The People vs. Larry Flynt"), Derek Luke ("The Americans") and Judd Nelson ("The Breakfast Club").
EMPIRE is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Grazer, Ilene Chaiken ("The L Word") and Francie Calfo ("Those Who Kill," "Gang Related").
Columbia Records and Twentieth Century Fox Television have galvanized music and television platforms on other collaborative projects, including the acclaimed musical comedy series GLEE, which produced multiple, consecutive No. 1 albums with its standard-setting template of presenting breakthrough music seamlessly threaded throughout every episode.