“It was the music that saved my life,” he later says in a voice-over as he enters an MRI machine.
Howard stars as Lucious Lyon, a millionaire music mogul who prepares to pass on his legacy to his children when he’s diagnosed with a fatal illness. The situation goes from bad to worse when his ex-wife Cookie, played by his “Hustle & Flow” costar Taraji P. Henson, storms back into his life after being released from prison and demands half of her empire back.
The hip-hop drama is the latest project from “The Butler” director-writer duo of Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. It also stars Gabourey Sidibe and Courtney Love. The original soundtrack is written and produced by Timbaland.
“Empire” premieres in January on Fox.