Empire star and R&B singer Jussie Smollett has been wooing viewers with his silky voice on the hit FOX TV series via his gay character, Jamal Lyon, and now he will be entertaining fans outside of the show.
“There will be a Jussie Smollett album,” Jussie told Entertainment Weekly. “I signed to Columbia. So darling [Laughs] I’m label mates with Beyoncé and Adele and Barbra Streisand.”
As far as the sound of his debut project, Jussie says the project will be “different” from what’s being presented on Empire, but he plans to involve some of his cast members.
“It’s going to be a whole different thing,” he says. “Now, the Empire family will still have something to do with it. I would love for Terrence to come and oversee the production of all of the music. And I would love for Timbaland to come on and Jim Beanz. We’ve all talked and they’re all down to work on it.”
Many may wonder how Jamal landed his role in Empire to become this overnight star. Well, the talented entertainer took a leap of faith and it’s paying off handsomely.
“My older sister, Jazz, sent this link saying that Lee Daniels and Danny Strong were developing this show. It was a link in Variety or Hollywood Reporter, one of the traits. And I immediately called up my manager and said, ‘I have to do this.’”
“So I immediately jumped on Instagram and I direct messaged Lee Daniels and I said, “I know that you get this all the time, but I sing, I act, I dance, I write music; I’m a musician. I am Jamal Lyon in more ways than one.” I wasn’t expecting him to look at it, but I knew that I was going to get an audition. And he responded the night before my audition and said, “Casting will be in touch. Peace.” That’s all he said.”
So I met him that following Monday and after I was done singing for him he said, “You direct messaged me.” And I said, “Yes I did.” And he said, “You’re a smart little kitten.” [Laughs] And I said, “Thank you sir.” But he took me through the ringer to make sure that I was the one for Jamal. I went in seven different times. He made me sing for my life.”
And singing he can do well! In the latest episode, Jussie’s character Jamal performed the song, “You’re So Beautiful.”
“‘You’re So Beautiful’ is one of my favorite songs this season,” Smollett tells EW. “It was produced by the great Jim Beanz and co-written by Jim and myself. When Jim first played the track, it spoke right to me. The lyrics were actually inspired by Gabby Sidibe. She’s confident, sexy, and owns exactly who she is, but every now and then… you just need to simply hear the words, ‘You’re So Beautiful.’”
Listen to “You’re So Beautiful” below: