Empire fans are going crazy over the role of fame-hungry Hakeem Lyon played by Bryshere Gray, aka “Yazz the Greatest.” If you are a Hakeem fan, here are some interesting facts we think you should know about the 22-year-old actor.
1. Before landing the role of Hakeem on Empire, Gray revealed he was about to become homeless. Yes, the 22-year-old was down on his luck. He was living in West Philadelphia and was about to be evicted.
2. At 16 years old, Gray discovered a passion for music after getting injured while playing football for his high school team. He began to use his talents as a street performer to earn money and help his single mother afford their living expenses.
3. Due to Gray’s musical background, many of his fans know him as “Yazz the Greatest.” He has performed at the annual Roots Picnic Festival, Jay Z’s 2013 Man in America Festival, and has opened for Fabolous and 2 Chainz.
4.”Empire” is Gray’s first acting job. He auditioned for the role by rapping on his iPhone through Facetime.
5. Hakeem denies being anything like Hakeem on Empire in real life.
6. In 2015, Gray signed on with Columbia Records as a solo act.