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If you’re going to create a show about the music business, it probably helps to have some successful musicians backing it up. Fox’s upcoming drama Empire has signed on actress and rock star Courtney Love to join the series as a recurring guest star. Which probably means we’ll get to see her in one episode before the entire shebang gets tossed off the network.
Empire centers on Lucious Lyon, the king of hip-hop record exec played by Terrence Howard. Lucious owns the titular Empire Entertainment, and has kept it pumping out chart-topping acts for decades. He gets news that he has less than three years to go before he’ll be crippled with ALS, so his journey then becomes finding one of his sons to pick up the reins and take Empire Entertainment into the future, all without tearing his family apart.
According to Fox’s press release, Love will enter the storyline as Elle Dallas, “a hard rock powerhouse” that is one of Empire Entertainment’s main acts. She brings a bit of background to the part, as her own musical career has spanned the last 25 years, both with the band Hole and as a solo artist. Might this mean audiences will get some new Hole music to go with their TV watching? Fingers crossed for Love performing a rap song at some point.
The series also stars Howard’s Hustle & Flow co-star Taraji P. Henson as Cookie, Lucious’ ex-wife, who receives an early prison release and tries to take back part of the company that she helped build. Lucious is trying to groom one of his three sons to take the role of CEO, but he’s having trouble deciding who deserves it the most. The youngest, Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), is a gifted musician, but his work ethic is overshadowed by his immaturity. Middle son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is an equally talented musician who doesn’t seek the spotlight, but his homosexuality creates problems for Lucious. Then there’s the oldest, Andre (Trai Byers), the highly educated CFO of Empire who lacks the pizazz Lucious feels is required to be a success in this business. The show will also co-star Cuba Gooding, Jr., Judd Nelson, Naomi Campbell, Gabourey Sidibe and Derek Luke.
Love has stayed outside the acting spotlight for the past decade or so, dealing more with behind the scenes drama like that whole Twitter court case. She reemerged on FX’s Sons of Anarchy this season, though her character has yet to make an impact. Will Love find her third calling as a TV star now?
Empire is expected to debut on Fox in January 2015, but no specific date has been revealed yet.