"Your honor, you can blame it on Tiana." If you watched Empire's second episode (and, considering the show's excellent ratings, I'm sure a lot of you did) then you know that hook, and you've probably been humming it to yourself nonstop ever since. You've probably got Tiana's own song, "Adios," stuck in your head too. And for good reason: as it turns out, the actress who plays Tiana on Empire, Serayah McNeill, is a musician in her own right. Of course, on a show packed with so much musical talent, it only makes sense that a character like the pop star is portrayed by a real-life triple threat with a huge future ahead of her.
McNeill's gig on Empire was her first role in front of a camera, but the young singer/dancer/actress is already working hard on other ventures. She has multiple tracks currently available on SoundCloud, so an album is likely in the works. And her character will continue her relationship with Hakeem, at least for one more episode (though we also know Naomi Campbell's character Camilla is going to turn up at some point and sweep the youngest Lyon off his feet). A clash between McNeill and Campbell sounds like just the type of conflict this soapy show thrives on. For now, check out Tiana's next Empire performance, a collaboration with V. Bozeman (the soul singer from the pilot episode) called "Bad Girl."
What else do you need to know about McNeill? Let's take a look. But first, catch up on Empire Season 1 with Bustle's drunk recap here:
She's Tight With Her Castmates
Though Empire's first episodes were filmed a while ago, it looks like McNeill is still hanging out with her besties from the cast. She has Instagrammed pics of herself and Bryshere Gray (Hakeem) from their weekly viewing parties — which is friggin' adorable. Could Hakiana (that's the Hakeem/Tiana couple name I just invented for them) become a thing in real life too? I can't be the only fan who'd like to see that happen.
She's Got Incredible Style
Maybe it's just an unwritten law that all dancers have to look effortlessly cool no matter what. Though she's just rocking an oversized shirt and jeans, McNeill manages to turn this look into a chic outfit. And she can easily switch between dance clothes casual and red carpet luxe:
She Sings Original Music
We've heard McNeill's vocal talent on Tiana's songs, but the actress is also at work on her own music. You can listen to a few of her songs on YouTube, and more on SoundCloud. We know that Gray and Jussie Smollett (Jamal) also have their own burgeoning singing careers as well. Is it too much to ask for an Empire cast collaboration album?
Catch McNeill's next Empire appearance on Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX