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The Men of Empire Heats Up Essence Magazine


Need a little eye-candy to get your day started off right? You won’t have to look far ladies, the very sexy men of Empire, Jussie Smollett, Yazz the Greatest and Trai Byers.


The trio, aka the ‘Lyon brothers,’ also have their own individual spread and covers for the magazine’s June issue.

Essence spoke with the Fox TV break out stars, Andre, Jamal and Hakeem — their fictional character names, to find out more about the men behind the hit series.

Here are some things you may find interesting…
Jussie Smollet, 32, reached out to show’s creator, Lee Daniels, in an non-traditional way when he found out about the new show he was creating.

“I jumped on Instagram and direct-messaged Lee and said, ‘Sir, I know you get this all the time, but I’m a singer, actor, dancer, songwriter and musician. I am Jamal Lyon in more ways than one.'”

As for newcomer Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, 21, whose NFL dreams was shattered following an injury, was inspired to mentor and share his story with young men and women like himself after hearing their own hardships.

“I would hear things like, ‘My dad was never in my life…’ and my response was, ‘My dad was never in my life…Don’t feel like you don’t matter.'”

Trai Byers, 33, the not so break out star (Byers was featured in Academy Award nominated film Selma last year), is a bit of a charmer. he’s also rumored to be dating his on-screen co-star Grace Gealey.

He explains why he works out and looks so damn good: “I work out for two reasons: one, because I’m an actor and two, because I’m somebody’s [future] husband. I want to be prepared for the woman God has for me.”

To find out more of the actors and which of the ‘Lyon brothers’ almost became a pastor when times got tough in his life, pick up the June issue of ESSENCE Magazine, available on 5/15!


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