Howard University located in Washington, D.C has been one of the leading historically black college and universities (HBCU) to produce students into future leaders of tomorrow. The school proudly has been the alma mater of many high profile black celebrities. One such renowned personality that Howard boasts of is the very talented Oscar nominated actor Taraji P Henson. Already known for her roles as Shug in Hustle and Flow, Yvette in Baby Boy, and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is currently having her moment with the Fox’s No. 1 show-Empire.
The record breaking ratings of this hip hop drama is in large part due to Henson’s captivating performances as a newly sprung inmate Cookie Lyon who’s spent the last 17 years serving time for a drug-related crime while her ex-husband Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and their three sons reaped the spoils of her street-running days. It’s a prime time soap opera that has a lot of melodrama and rests on the strength of an actor like Taraji P Henson to keep it from going over the top.
According to Fox, Empire is the only primetime scripted series to grow total viewers over each of its first five telecasts since at least 1991. In fact, this Lee Daniels production has broken a rating record that stood for more than 23 years. Now that’s called making history!
Undoubtedly, Empire-a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear, set in the world of fictional musical industry and Cookie are in line with Taraji P Henson’s previous jobs well done. Her characters always appear like real people the audience is familiar with, a big thanks to the measured way in which the actor portrays African-American women who have endured hardships.