Bryshere Y. Gray is best known for playing Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie Lyon’s (Taraji P. Henson) youngest son, Hakeem, on Empire. Grey not only plays a rapper on the show, but he’s also one in real life.
From how he made money at a young age to his college aspirations, here are five fast facts you need to know about Empire star Bryshere Y. Gray.
Though he played football in high school, Gray started to pursue a music career after he got injured when he was 16 years old. He started singing as a street performer in order to help his single mother pay their bills. Gray got his manager Charlie Mack after he saw him perform.
Right before landing his role on Empire, Gray and his mother were nearly homeless. He was apparently broke and was about to get evicted from his apartment when he landed his audition for Empire. The good news is got the part, so it all worked out in the end!
Though he’s been on Empire for five seasons, Gray’s first love has always been music. He has performed at a number of music festivals across the country, including the Made in America Festival in Philadelphia and The Roots’ Picnic Festival in New York City. He’s also opened up for rappers such as Fabolous and 2 Chainz.
That’s A Rap
Empire was Grey’s first acting job; he first auditioned with Henson and Howard, the leads of the show, but had to do his final audition over FaceTime. And, not only was it on FaceTime, but the only thing he had to do for the final audition was rap!
Though he’s a successful actor and artist, Gray has academic dreams as well. He has expressed interest in attending the University of Southern California at some point and studying both business and theater. Maybe when Empire is finished next year, he’ll finally have the time to pursue his degree.