Considering her close friendship with Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, it was only a matter of time until music legend Mariah Carey graced the series with her presence. Now, after months of rumors and whispers, the “Vision of Love” starlet, as mentioned by TV Line, will finally make an appearance on Season 3 of the FOX mega-hit.
According to reports, Carey, 46, will be portraying a character not unlike her actual self, a superstar singer named Kitty, who finds herself hoping to collaborate with Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett). As their duet begins to form, several personal obstacles stand in the way of Jamal’s ability to come through with his talent, so Kitty helps him to quell his inner turmoil in hopes of creating a great hit.
Although further details surrounding the plot of Carey’s Empire episode are currently unavailable, it stands to reason that the middle Lyon child will still be dealing with the emotional repercussions of being accidentally shot by close friend and fellow Empire Records label mate Frida Gatz (Bre-Z) during Season 2’s penultimate episode. That violent response, actually meant for Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), ultimately led to Jamal refusing to sing another note until the family’s ongoing strife ceased.
For those who are aware of Daniels and Carey’s history, the news of her Empire turn won’t be much of a shock. Interestingly, Lee, who has worked with Mariah on several projects, including the Academy Award-winning film, Precious, and 2008’s Tennessee, initially teased Carey’s future Empire inclusion during her Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony last August.
“Watch her on Empire, you guys,” he said at the event, which was noted by the Hollywood Reporter. “She’s coming on Empire.”
The show’s other co-creator, however, former actor Danny Strong (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), would go on to shoot down those claims, as well as others that mentioned that another big name, Oprah Winfrey, would turn up on the show.
“None of those people are going to actually be on the show,” Strong relayed to the audience at last year’s winter promo party for FOX, “so I can’t control what names all of a sudden take off as being guest stars because they’re not.”
Lee followed suit with a statement of his own last September in Vanity Fair.
“We just couldn’t fit [Oprah] into the schedule,” he said. “She really wanted to do the show, but she’s going to be on next season for sure.” It is unknown whether or not that move is still in play.
The news of Mariah’s Empire guest appearance was confirmed Monday (Aug. 8) during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, the same place where the singer charmed reporters last week in preparation for her upcoming E! docu-series, Mariah’s World, so says TV Guide. Set to air in December, the eight-part event will follow the singer as she embarks on her ‘Sweet, Sweet Fantasy’ tour, and prepares to wed her fiancé, Australian businessman James Packer.
“I wanted to document the making of this tour,” she expressed to E! about Mariah’s World last week. “I haven’t gone to Europe in over a decade and toured, and you know, I really wish the timing could have been exact with the new music that I’m making now and that the fans are waiting for and all of that. But it’s just like we went on the tour and if we’re not going to go in the studio first let’s document it, let’s do it, let’s show the behind-the-scenes, show what it is, let’s have real moments.”
There’s no word on if Mariah Carey’s Empire experience will be a one-off episode or a recurring performance. Season 3 of Empire begins on Wednesday, September 21 at 9/8c on FOX. Mariah’s Empire episode, which is, as of now, untitled, is scheduled to air on October 5.
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