Who Is Gram On 'Empire'? Romeo Miller Is Bringing Trouble For Hakeem
Empire's Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere "Yazz" Gray) has grown a lot in the three seasons since the show began. The youngest of the famous music family has become a rap star, was CEO of Empire Entertainment for a hot second, and is now father to his daughter with Anika, Bella. And it sounds like the youngest Lyon brother will soon be adding a rap rivalry to his already hectic world with the arrival of Gram to Empire , played by Romeo Miller (aka Lil' Romeo).
According to Entertainment Weekly, Gram will be Hakeem's rival and a romantic suitor for pop singer Tiana (Serayah). Could this rivalry have something to do with Tiana, who also once dated Hakeem? Or is Gram and Hakeem's competition purely music-based? E! Online reported that "Hakeem fights with newcomer Gram for Tiana's attention" in the new episode airing on Wednesday, Oct. 5, so it sounds like Hakeem's renewed interest in Tiana is a bit ill-timed once again. To refresh your memory, Hakeem and Tiana's Season 1 romance was mostly for show — they'd perform together on-stage, but off-stage Hakeem was also seeing Camilla (Naomi Campbell) and Tiana also had her own girlfriend on the side.
As for the artist formerly known as Lil' Romeo, the role of Gram is an opportunity that the 27-year-old is glad to have, according to his interview with the International Business Times. “This is probably my favorite role yet,” he told the publication. “Playing Gram on ‘Empire’ is exciting and it’s a blessing because it’s a dream role." Miller isn't a stranger to acting, either — he has appeared in Jumping the Broom, Jarhead 3: The Siege, Game Day, Megachurch Murder, Madea's Witness Protection, and more. He also finished among the Top 5 competitors on Dancing With The Stars in 2011.
You may also recall Miller's music career as Lil' Romeo, which hit its stride with No. 1 single "My Baby" in 2001 — when he was 12. He continued making music and albums into the mid-2000s, but he also explored other ventures as well, like basketball. In 2007, USA Today reported that Miller accepted an offer to play basketball on scholarship for the University of Southern California, and according to ESPN, it was alongside his childhood friend DeMar DeRozan. According to the USC Athletics website, Miller only played in the 2008-2009 season and went by his legal first name, Percy. ESPN reported that he only played in three games and missed most of the season due to a shoulder injury, but it seems like Miller has since found a new passion in acting.
However, according to multiple sources, the Empire role is an opportunity that Miller almost didn't have, as Gram was originally supposed to be played by Kid Cudi. According to EW, Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi had shot scenes for the part, but then departed the show due to "creative differences." But with his experience, I'm sure Miller will do a great job with Gram this season on Empire.
Image: Chuck Hodes/Fox, Fox