“Empire” stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard have already shared the mic on their breakout Fox drama, but their musical history actually extends a lot further — all the way back to 2005’s “Hustle & Flow,” in which the duo co-starred as love interests and performed the film’s Oscar-winning song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
A decade later, the pair have revisited the hip-hop hit thanks to Spike’s “Lip Sync Battle,” marking the first time two contestants have ever performed together (and on a song they originally recorded, no less) on the show.
The song was written by Three 6 Mafia and Cedric Coleman for “Hustle & Flow,” and Henson joined the writers to perform the song during the Oscars telecast, although Howard declined to participate.
Spike has already released two other performances from Henson and Howard’s “Lip Sync Battle” episode, with Howard giving an energetic rendition of “Brick House” by the Commodores, and Henson tackling “Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige.
Henson and Howard’s episode of “Lip Sync Battle,” which is also the season finale, airs Thursday, August 20, at 10 p.m. on Spike.