Who Is 'Empire' Guest Anthony Hamilton? The R&B Star Will Perform During A Big Lyon Family Moment

You never know who's going to show up on Empire. With Timbaland serving as executive music producer and Terrence Howard in the driving seat as star Lucious Lyon, plenty of music industry legends have been making time in their busy schedules to drop by Empire Entertainment's offices, or perform at one of the Lyons' family functions. It seems like when Lucious calls, you answer, because in the next episode airing Feb. 4, Empire fans can catch Anthony Hamilton performing at Lucious and Anika's surprise engagement. Wouldn't it be nice if every guy could just ask their Grammy-winning friends to come serenade them while they propose? The R&B singer hasn't been in the spotlight so much lately, so I'm sure some of you are asking, who is Anthony Hamilton? Well, take a seat kids, because you're about to get educated.

Hamilton has been working in music for the past 20 years as a singer, songwriter, and producer. Over that time he's collaborated with some other pretty talented people, including working on jams for Nas, Nelly, Marc Ronson, Eve, and a whole bunch more. In 2009, his collaboration with Al Green on their song "You've Got the Love I Need" even earned both of them a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. Now you know why Lucious tapped Hamilton to play at his proposal. You can see a snippet of Hamilton's Empire appearance below, in the beginning of the episode's promo.

TV Promos on YouTube

Let's check out some of the singer's other hits, as well as where else you might have seen him before.

"Charlene"

anthonyhamiltonVEVO on YouTube

Hamilton's 2004 single "Charlene" is his highest-charting song to date, peaking at 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, about a remorseful musician who's girlfriend ends their relationship because he's gone on tour too much, helped the R&B singer's second album, Comin' from Where I'm From , reach platinum status after selling over 1.2 million copies. No more breakup songs for Hamilton, though. He and his wife, singer Tarsha McMillian, were married shortly after "Charlene" dropped.

"Freedom" With Elayna Boynton

One of Hamilton's most recent projects was creating this song for the Django Unchained soundtrack, along with soul singer Elayna Boynton. Director Quentin Tarantino is known for putting anachronistic music (like Kanye West songs) in his movies, so "Freedom" fit right in to the film about American slavery in the 1800s. The moving lyrics, about struggling for liberty and personal autonomy, are still quite relevant.

American Gangster

Though he hasn't spent too much time in front of the camera, Hamilton has occasionally popped up to sing on screen, like in 2007's American Gangster starring Denzel Washington. He penned "Do You Feel Me" specifically for that movie, then sang it in a scene where he played the leader of a funk band. Besides American Gangster and Django Unchained, Hamilton's music has also appeared on the soundtracks to Save the Last Dance, Step Up, The Wire, and plenty of other hit films and TV shows. Looks like Empire is in good company.

We all know Cookie is bound to find some way to ruin Lucious and Anika's engagement party. But before she gets going, we can all look forward to Hamilton's beautiful music... for a minute, anyway.

Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX