The hit hip-hop drama Empire on Fox is gaining viewers in a huge, pivotal way, and a major storyline involves Jamal Lyon, played brilliantly by Jussie Smollett.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Jussie’s character’s storyline on Empire involves playing a gay man who faces disapproval of his sexuality from his father — Terrence Howard portraying patriarch Lucious Lyon — a man who represents some of the same attitudes that Empire director Lee Daniels faced with his own father. With Smollett’s growing popularity, especially after Wednesday night’s show, wherein Jamal came out in a big way to the Empire public during a remixed song from his dad with changed lyrics that spoke of a man loving a man, natural interest has grown from fans who wonder if Jussie is gay in real life.
Although Jussie has remained pretty tight-lipped and elusive during interviews about his personal life, Jussie’s Empire co-star Malik Yoba has let the cat out of the bag, as reported by Black Film, in an interview that claims Smollett is indeed gay.
“I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community. He and I have a very close relationship.”
Beyond questions about Jussie being gay or not, the pivotal storyline of his Empire character seems totally appropriate, as Smollett’s Jamal deals with his mom Cookie on the show — a woman who spent 17 years in jail and transitions well back into society, with Jamal still being her closest and most favorite son of the three men who are oftentimes pitted against one another. However, Jussie’s true talent as a singer shines through during his performances on the show.
Even Wednesday’s episode, which showed Jussie singing a simple a capella riff from The Lion King to his would-be daughter, showed off an amazing set of pipes. They are the selfsame vocal talents that won Smollett an album deal with Columbia, as reported by EW, which puts Jussie in the same category with several singing legends.
“So darling [Laughs] I’m label mates with Beyoncé and Adele and Barbra Streisand.”
Seeing as though Jussie refused to confirm or deny whether he was gay or not in real life in Smollett’s recent Sway in the Morning show, Yoba may not realize that he outed one of his Empire co-stars before giving Jussie the chance to come out as gay himself as boldly as Jamal did on the show.
[Image via EW]